Driver charged after striking pedestrians, killing 1-year-old Wilmington girl in Carolina Beach

The accident claimed the life of a young Wilmington girl and injured her grandmother.

The Town of Carolina Beach Police Department, like other agencies in the area are facing issues with retention of police officers (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)
The Town of Carolina Beach Police Department has charged the driver in a fatal accident last week. (Port City Daily/Michael Praats)

CAROLINA BEACH — Police in Carolina Beach have announced the driver of the vehicle which struck two individuals will face charges of Misdemeanor Death by Motor Vehicle and Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian.

“The pedestrian victims involved in the fatal collision were related as grandmother and grandchild. The adult pedestrian victim is identified as Catherine Hagelstein a 56-year-old female and the juvenile pedestrian victim is identified as Cora Kruger a 1-year-old female,” according to the Carolina Beach Police.

Police also identified the driver as 39-year old Heather Ligotino. Both of the victims and the driver are Wilmington residents, according to police.


Ligotino has been arrested and taken before the New Hanover County Magistrates Office. She was released after her arrest with a promise to appear for court.

“The location of the vehicle and pedestrian collision did occur within a marked crosswalk. The adult victim has injuries which have been reported as non-life threatening. Currently, the Carolina Beach Police Department is still investigating the collision and charges to the driver are Misdemeanor Death by Motor Vehicle and Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian,” police said.


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