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Tractor topples, girl dies, driver charged with DWI

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THOMASVILLE, NC (AP) -- A four-year-old North Carolina girl is dead, and a relative faces charges of driving while impaired after a farm tractor they were riding rolled off a gravel road into a small creek.

The Dispatch of Lexington reports that Leala Hardy died in Monday's accident near Thomasville. She was riding on the tractor driven by 50-year-old John William Patterson. The state Highway Patrol has charged him with driving while impaired.

It couldn't be immediately determined Wednesday if Patterson has a lawyer.

Patrol First Sgt. B.D. Stalvey says the tractor overturned down an embankment into a small creek. Stalvey says troopers are consulting with Davidson County's district attorney on whether further charges are justified.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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