Campbell University remembers students killed in weather-related crash
Posted September 7
Buies Creek, N.C. — The North Carolina Highway Patrol named on Thursday two male students who were killed in a crash near Campbell University on Wednesday evening.
The driver has been identified as Brandon Patrick Punzalan, 18, of Wilmington, and the passenger has been identified as Judson Clint Regan, 18, of Roxboro. The two were roommates. Both men were wearing their seatbelts, officials said. Both men died at the scene.
Authorities said the crash happened at about 5:45 p.m. on U.S. Highway 421 in Harnett County when the students' Honda Accord crashed into a Duke Energy truck. The men in the truck, identified as Ronald Leslee Gillis, 40, and Kyle James Smith, 23, were not injured.
Officials said the Honda Accord ran off the left side of the road, striking a guardrail end, before correcting and striking the truck.
Authorities said the accident appeared to be weather related, as it was raining heavily at the time. The exact cause of the crash remains under investigation.
Dennis Bazeman, vice president for student life, said Regan was a Homeland Security major. During a freshman seminar class, which Bazeman teaches, Regan turned in a two-page paper answering the question ‘Who am I?’
"I learned from reading his paper today that he was an only child," Bazemore said. "Once I found that out, it just kind of hit me a little bit harder for their family, that they have lost their only son."
Bazeman said since Campbell only has 3,000 undergraduate students, this loss is felt by everyone.
“It just hits us really hard. We actually were coming back from the gym and we drove past the scene and saw some of the debris on the road and it’s really sad. On behalf of everyone at the university, I just want to reach out to those families and [say] prayers are with you,” said one student.
"They need to take care of themselves as they realize that life can be rather fragile, and that they need to take care of themselves as well," Bazeman said.