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Family Friend Charged in Accident that Killed 12-Year-Old | News

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Family Friend Charged in Accident that Killed 12-Year-Old
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A family friend has been charged in connection with the death of a 12-year-old in Asheboro on Saturday.

Reyna Patricia Valencia, 35, was charged with four felony counts, including DWI, death by motor vehicle and involuntary manslaughter. Roland Benjamin Sierra was killed when the Dodge Stratus driven by Valencia crashed near the intersection of the Highway 220 bypass and Sunset Avenue around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, police said.

Police said Valencia was speeding and driving erratically when the car ran off the right side of the road, overturned and flipped up an embankment before hitting a road sign.

Roland Sierra was reportedly riding in the back seat of the car at the time of the accident, while his brother, Jose Sierra, was riding in the front seat. Jose was transported to Randolph Hospital, where he was treated and released. Only one of the passengers was believed to have been wearing a seat belt.

Valencia is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. She is being held on a $250,000 secured bond.

Valencia, who is unrelated to the crash victims, was a family friend visiting from Phoenix. Sergio Sierra, Roland's father, said he and his wife, Maria, had no idea that two of their children had gotten in a car with a family friend.

"We never would have let that happen--never--especially because we knew she was drinking," Sergio said.

Roland was in the sixth grade at Southwest Randolph Middle School. Jane Kaylyn, social studies teacher, said he was athletic, a good learner and well-liked.

"A lot of students that I didn't even realize being effected have come forward and shared things they remember about him," Kaylyn said.

Jose returned to school Monday, though grief counselors were made available at the school to comfort students and staff.

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