Family of woman charged in fatal DUI crash speaks out - FOX Carolina 21

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Family of woman charged in fatal DUI crash speaks out

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Lindsay and Frank Mason cleanup the memorial for Stancell and Harrison. (Aug. 24, 2012/FOX Carolina) Lindsay and Frank Mason cleanup the memorial for Stancell and Harrison. (Aug. 24, 2012/FOX Carolina)
Julie Mason appears before a judge in March 2011 for a bond hearing. (File/FOX Carolina) Julie Mason appears before a judge in March 2011 for a bond hearing. (File/FOX Carolina)
PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The family of a Marietta woman charged with felony DUI in a crash that killed two people is speaking out for the first time.

Troopers said Julie Mason was driving under the influence March 4, 2011, when her car crossed the center line, hit another car head-on and killed the driver and one child. Three children, in the custody of the Department of Social Services, and a social worker were in the car.

After she was charged and released on $80,000 bond, Mason disappeared before a hearing scheduled earlier in  April 2012. Mason was later caught in Ohio and returned to the Upstate, authorities said.

Mason's daughter Lindsay Mason told FOX Carolina that things have not been easy on her and her younger brother since their mother's arrest. She said their mom's escape attempt made things worse.

"For the past year it's been up and down," said Lindsay Mason. "Some days my brother and I just break down. The other days we carry on with our lives, but when she left it was like another hole in my heart."

SLIDESHOW: See photos of the 2011 crash and roadside memorial

"The house was empty and there was a note that said 'I'm sorry, maybe we'll see each other again someday," said Julie Mason's husband, Frank.

Lindsay Mason and her dad visited the roadside memorial on Pumpkintown Highway for the first time Friday. She was 18 at the time of the crash and said she and her brother had to grow up fast when their world was turned upside down.

Julie Mason's children also become targets of hateful comments from peers, according to Lindsay Mason. Her father said the attacks became so bad it led their son to leave Pickens High School.

They said their hearts go out to the victims of the wreck and said they cry every time they drive by the location.

Thirty-six-year-old Chrystal Harrison of Seneca and 10-year-old Raven Stancell of Pickens were killed in the wreck. Harrison was a social worker driving Stancil to a foster home. Investigators said the victims were wearing their seatbelts.

Lindsay Mason said she will not be at a plea hearing for her mother, which is scheduled for Thursday. Julie Mason was charged with two counts of felony DUI involving death and two counts of felony DUI resulting in injury.

"I don't think it will bring closure to anybody," said Lindsay Mason. "When you lose somebody, it's a hole in your heart that will never fix."

Julie Mason will likely learn her fate during the hearing, but for her family, they already know their fate will be forever tied to the two crosses on the side of Pumpkintown Highway in Pickens County.

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