Why Brandy Norwood Will Never ‘Get Over’ the Tragic Car Accident That Killed a Mother of Two
In Dec. 2006, Brandy Norwood went from R&B pop sensation and star of Moesha to a vehicular manslaughter suspect in an instant. Years later, Brandy’s fatal car accident on the Los Angeles 405 Freeway still haunts her. A 38-year-old mother of two died from injuries the following day. Here’s why Brandy will never “get over” or “understand” the events that happened that day.
The details of Brandy’s car accident are heartbreaking
As Brandy Norwood drove home on the L.A. 405 Freeway, she became involved in a car accident that would change her life forever. The singer, who was on her way home at the time, escaped with minor injuries.
Awatef Aboudihaj died from blunt-force injuries sustained in the crash. Aboudiha’s two sons, ages 10 and 14 at the time, also sustained injuries. They alleged Brandy drove a Land Rover “recklessly” before it struck Aboudihaj’s Honda. The Honda slid into the center divider where another car struck Aboudihaj.
Brandy faced two wrongful death lawsuits
In Jan. 2007, Aboudihaj’s parents, Aboudihaj Mohamed and Labridi Zohra, filed a $50 million wrongful death lawsuit against Brandy in Los Angeles Superior Court. A second suit followed, filed on behalf of Aboudihaj’s two sons, in Feb. 2007.
“The accident was a terrible tragedy, and Brandy’s heart goes out to Awatef Aboudihaj’s family. But for legal reasons we cannot comment on this lawsuit,” the singer’s spokesman Allan Mayer said in a statement earlier.
Attorney, Paul N. Philips said the children’s injuries may have lasting damage and would be determined at trial, according to the suit. California Highway Patrol investigator spokesperson, Jonathan Diamond, recommended misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges.
“After conducting a thorough investigation, which included consulting with some of the top accident reconstruction experts in the country, city prosecutors concluded that there was insufficient evidence from which a jury could find Ms. Norwood guilty of such a charge beyond a reasonable doubt,” Los Angeles City Attorney’s spokesman Frank Mateljan said.
If convicted, Brandy, who was 28 at the time, would’ve faced up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
A lawyer for Brandy said she was “extremely pleased” with the result.
“These past twelve months have been extraordinarily hard for Brandy and her family, who were unfairly forced to live under a cloud of suspicion initially caused by an ill-advised and premature press release sent out by the California Highway Patrol accusing Brandy of wrongdoing before the police investigation was even finished,” attorney Blair Berk previously said.
Here’s what Brandy said about the crash years later
In a previous interview with Oprah Winfrey, Brandy opened up about life after the accident. The singer faced verbal attacks and public scrutiny for a long time after — things she struggled with.
“I realized that God is real. Because I had no one else to turn to. I had no one else to depend on,” she said.
“Being involved in something that tragic…I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “I don’t think that’s something I could ever get over or ever truly understand, but that was one of the worst times in my life.”
Sometime after the accident, Brandy spoke to the Aboudihaj family after turning toward her faith to cope.
“I did a lot of speaking to God,” she says. “A lot of praying and a lot of journaling. A lot of Gospel music.”
With things like this, there’s likely no full healing for any party involved. Our thoughts are with all affected by this tragic accident, even all these years later.