Local News

'Bright and promising' Duke law student killed in crash

Posted April 2, 2013

— A Duke University School of Law student was one of three people killed in a massive chain-reaction crash involving nearly 100 vehicles along a mountainous, foggy stretch of Interstate 77 near the North Carolina-Virginia state line on Sunday.

Dean David Levi announced the death of Andrew Katbi, 24, of Delphos, Ohio, on the law school's website Monday.

"Andrew will be remembered by his friends and classmates as someone who cared deeply about those around him," Levi wrote. "Whether working to defend indigent clients, contributing to legal scholarship through research assistance, competing in intramural athletics or spending time with friends, Andrew always pushed himself and those around him to a higher level."

Katbi, a member of the Class of 2013, was returning to Duke from a camping trip when the crash happened.

"It's definitely been pretty somber and sad," Jason Belk, Duke law school assistant dean for student affairs, said Tuesday. "As it happens, our Class of 2013 picture was scheduled for today at noon and, obviously, Andrew couldn't be there, so his classmates observed a moment of silence in his honor."

Katbi was a lifelong Ohio resident who planned to return to his home state after graduation, according to Duke Law. He had accepted an offer from Baker Hostetler's litigation department in Columbus.

Duke law mourns classmate killed in crash Duke law mourns classmate killed in crash

"He was a very bright and promising future lawyer," Belk said. "Students are talking about ways to best honor his memory, and we hope to have a better sense of how that's going to happen in the days and weeks ahead."

Katbi is survived by his mother, father, sister and longtime girlfriend.

William M. Sosebee, 33, of Allen, Ky., and Kathern Worley, 71, of Iron Station, N.C, also died in Sunday's crash. Twenty-five people were injured.

23 Comments

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  • sisu Apr 3, 5:47 p.m.

    My heartfelt condolences to this young man's family and loved ones as well as those of the others whose lives were tragically cut short. I wish them strength and comfort.

  • jetset Apr 2, 7:04 p.m.

    So sad. Tragic accident.

  • whyalltheproblems Apr 2, 5:08 p.m.

    so very sad..my heart goes out to his family and friends.

  • DavidJonathan Apr 2, 4:20 p.m.

    It is very hard to pull off to the side of this road. For much of this stretch, there is no "side" to safely pull off. Even if you could pull off onto the narrow shoulder, you are in danger of getting hit from behind by other cars who are blinded or also trying to pull over.

  • Alexia Apr 2, 4:13 p.m.

    "In a heavy fog, you can't see the end of your hood much less another car or truck even if they have their lights on." --
    ConservativeVoter

    I believe that's a pretty accurate description. I drove through there back in early February and I have never seen fog so thick in my life. You really could not hardly see anything at all in front of you.

    We were all crawling with flashers on. It was largely those flashers that I think helped us avoid hitting each other. It was an absolutely horrible drive.

  • btneast Apr 2, 1:03 p.m.

    I think this happens often in any similar area....coming into Boone on 421 is often so foggy you can't see 20 ft in front of the car. Problems arise when just one car panics and comes to a stop or near crawl WHILE STILL IN THE DRIVING LANE. I can certainly understand not being comfortable to drive in such fog, but for goodness sakes get off the highway. Even people creeping long at 20 mph coming up behind you can hit you and cause significant damage and injury.

  • 4Strikes Apr 2, 12:26 p.m.

    "They need to do something about that stretch. I was heading south on that road late and had a semi truck come speeding around and was so close to my car I could barely see anything because of his lights and was basically being pushed out of the way and I was going the speed limit and the trucks were flying down that road. It was scary and will never ever drive that way again during certain hours." tiffanyruth

    Yeah, I don't understand why they don't crack down on truckers that do that type of thing all the time. That is driving to endanger and should be cause to have their license revoked. They could send an unmarked car down that stretch or several others and experience it first hand any time.

  • DavidJonathan Apr 2, 11:56 a.m.

    I have driven this stretch many times and have been caught in the fog. It's very dangerous, and just posting a sign warning that there might be fog ahead isn't enough. You are suddenly in a fog bank with no warning after being in sunshine just before.

  • ConservativeVoter Apr 2, 11:36 a.m.

    That's a scary stretch of highway in the fog.

    In a heavy fog, you can't see the end of your hood much less another car or truck even if they have their lights on.

    They need to implement a mechanism to close that highway in case of fog.

    The alternate route is US-52 which is much worse.

    Most people call it foggy gap instead of fancy gap.

  • Country Girlz Have MORE fun Apr 2, 11:20 a.m.

    I drove that stretch in the pouring rain...I can not imagine fog.

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