RALEIGH, N.C. — Just three days into the semester, students at North Carolina State University are mourning the death of a popular sophomore and hanging on for news of three others injured in an overnight car accident.
From the looks of the cars involved, it was hard to believe anyone survived the terrible crash.
"It sounded like a bomb when they crashed," said John Gentry, who lives near the scene of the wreck on Avent Ferry Road.
The fatality was identified as N.C. State student Brandon Sova, 19, of Clayton.
Investigators said it appeared one of the cars was going too fast around a curve.
According to Raleigh police, the wreck occurred at 1:58 a.m. in the 2600 block of Avent Ferry Road, near the intersection of Chappell Drive. Two vehicles were involved, a 1994 Chevrolet Camaro and 1999 Honda CRV.
The Camaro was driven by Victor Rivera, 21, of Clayton, and was occupied by three passengers: Sova, 20-year-old Troy Bradshaw, of Rose Hill, and 20-year-old Bruce Chipa, of Clayton.
Sova, who had been riding in the front passenger seat, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Honda was driven by 22-year-old Michael Bryan Keadle, of Raleigh.
Rivera was treated at WakeMed and released. Bradshaw and Chipa were in critical condition, Keadle in fair condition.
Bradshaw and Chipa also are students at NCSU.
The accident remains under investigation. No charges have been filed at this point.
When the sun came up, Sova's cousin, Trent, came to see the scene for himself.
"He had everything going for him, great in school, anything pretty much you could want your cousin or your son to be," Trent said.
Sova, majoring in computer engineering, was a 2003 graduate of Clayton High School.
"There's a lot of memories," Trent Sova said. "And that's what brings me to tears, just knowing there was so many."
Sova's friends at N.C. State also are trying to remember the good times. RA's broke the news to students in the dorm where Sova lived.
"It was just shocking," student Brandt Morrow said. "I mean, we were just out here playing football with him yesterday."
Said another friend, Stephanie Canady: "Everybody's just really upset and just truly taken back."
Canaday also went to high school with Sova.
"Every time I saw him, even at State, he would always stop to ask me how my day was and how I was doing," she said. "A lot of people will be feeling a tremendous loss from this."
Counselors from N.C. State spent the day with friends and family at WakeMed as they waited for word on the other students involved. They also will be on campus to help students make sense of it all.