Local News

Duke Student In Critical Condition After Car Accident

Posted December 2, 2002

— A Duke University student is listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit at Pitt County Memorial Hospital following a car accident in Greenville on Saturday.

Maggie Katharine Schneider, a biology major spending the semester at the Duke Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, was returning to the lab from Nags Head with two other students when they were hit by a pick-up truck careening out of control.

Witnesses say Schneider was pinned in the car for 30 to 45 minutes before rescuers were able to extract her, and she was airlifted by helicopter to Pitt County Memorial.

As of Monday afternoon, she had not regained consciousness since the accident.

Schneider, a biology major, is from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

The three occupants of the pickup left the scene, according to the State Highway Patrol.

Two other Duke juniors, Megan Leigh Mobley of Olive, Mont., and Melissa Madeline Smith of Sanford, Maine, were traveling with Schneider. They were taken to Carteret General Hospital, where they were treated and released.

Mobley, a biology major, and Smith, an environmental sciences major, also have been attending the fall semester at the Duke Marine Lab. They spent their Thanksgiving break at Nags Head visiting Schneider's grandparents.

The three women were traveling south on U.S. Highway 70 near Smyrna around 6:35 p.m. when, according to the Highway Patrol, a pickup traveling north ran off the road to the right and then swerved back across the center line and hit their Honda Civic on the driver's side.

A Highway Patrol spokesman said the driver of the pickup was later apprehended and charged with several offenses, including driving while intoxicated, driving with a revoked license, hit-and-run driving and leaving the scene of the accident.

Michael K. Orbach, director of the Duke Marine Lab, has been with the students since the accident and with Schneider's parents, Dave Schneider and Barbara Mayer, who flew in from Canada on Sunday.

Counseling services are being offered for students attending the Duke Marine Lab. The Marine Lab, located on Pivers Island in Beaufort, is part of the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke.

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