Local News

Wreck Leaves 1 NCCU Student Dead, 3 Injured

Posted December 8, 2007

— A wreck in Durham late Thursday left one North Carolina Central University student dead and three others injured.

La'Reshia Hart, 19, and two of her friends were riding in a car driven by Brittany Marshall, 19, that was headed west on U.S. Highway 70/South Miami Boulevard near the Steel Blue nightclub around 11:30 p.m.

State troopers said Marshall tried to turn left into a parking lot in front of a pickup truck driven by John Henry Goodfellow. The truck hit the passenger side of the car, killing Hart.

Goodfellow fled the scene, but an officer tracked him down at a Cookout restaurant about a block away.

Michael Marks, who lives next to Steel Blue, said he knew a wreck had occurred when he heard a long bang.

"It was chaotic. It was over 15 squad cars, ambulances, fire trucks – just total chaos," Marks said. "Being so close to where I'm living, thank God nothing happened here."

Whitly Grant, the front-seat passenger in Marshall's car, was seriously injured. The other back-seat passenger, Makeema Monique Pettaway, was ejected from the car, authorities said.

All three were taken to Duke University Hospital. Marshall and Grant were listed in good condition on Saturday morning.

Goodfellow was charged with driving while impaired and placed in the Durham County jail under a $2,000 bond. He had a blood-alcohol content of 0.13, troopers said. North Carolina's legal BAC limit is 0.08.

Charges against Marshall are pending, authorities said.

All four women were sophomore at NCCU and were in the Aspiring Eagles Scholars program. University officials said the community is in shock and grief over the death and injuries.

“The university community is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of its students and the injuries that the others sustained,” NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hart family in this time of loss and with each of the families who have been affected by this situation."

Nelms said the university had been in "close touch" with the families of the women and was offering grief counseling to students, faculty and staff members.


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  • kennyrct Dec 10, 2007

    Apparently no one likes dealing with facts here! The driver of the car was doing so without an active license! If SHE had NOT been driving because her license was suspended/revoked, it obviously wouldn't have happened in the first place! The drunk driver is technically after the fact, and we as yet don't know if any or all of the girls had been drinking themselves, aka, drinking impairs judgment and reaction time. I don't care because it could have been me and my family that got hurt because the driver of the CAR turned in front of me - and I don't drink at all! What would the excuses have been then? Just because a person is cute, well-liked, popular, and intelligent does NOT mean that they will always do the right things, or are always right! Just because someone gets killed does not make it more tragic then the lives they could have taken! How we deal with death is as least as important as how we deal with life! One life was lost - it could have been worse!

  • SunnyDays Dec 8, 2007

    doogood: That is the girl that was killed.

  • Alicat Dec 8, 2007

    The fact remains that there was a drunk driver on the roads. He broke a law right there. Cause of the accident will be determined and the female driver will most likely be charged as well. HOWEVER lets keep drunks off the road......Fine him, jail him whatever it takes. NO DRUNK DRIVERS should ever be on the road. He even left the scene of the accident. How responsible is he? The female driver will face her consequences but the drunk should as well.

  • djofraleigh Dec 8, 2007

    I guess we all want to be lawyers and figure out the fault here.

    The truth is that one beautiful young girl is gone. All her parents efforts lost to just 18 years. I'm glad she had good years and did so much.

    There is another girl hurt in the hospital. She has to live with this horrible moment that came out of nowhere.

    The man is going to see his life taken over by court, and his part, with all doubts, weighing heavy on his mind. His life should change.

    There is NO good in all this, only loss. I hope all survivors and families, have the faith to find a way to go on and live well.

    We all alson know it could have been any of us, any of our loved ones, out on the highway when such happens, and we all know it is going to happen AGAIN.

  • DrunkSober Dec 8, 2007

    Armchair quarterbacks galore on here.Is there a scenario where turning left on another car could be ok? Consider this before you start concluding that the lady was at fault: Maybe the truck was stopped and when the drunkard saw the ladies' car make a left,his drunkard impulse made him release the brake and start moving very fast,causing the accident.

  • doogaad Dec 8, 2007

    She is good-looking but she killed her friend

  • EagleGirl Dec 8, 2007

    If any of you have ever driven on Miami/70 then you would know people drive so fast on that street that it is very easy to get hit. She may have made a judgement call and figured she had enough time to make the turn. He could have been speeding. No one here was in the car or truck, you don't know, I don't know. A young girl's life was lost no matter whose fault it was and that is the issue.

    WRAL you should not allow people to comment on NCCU stories because they only attract idiotic and selfish comments. Why weren't people allowed to comment on the postive NCCU story the other day???

  • dont-be-a-hater Dec 8, 2007

    HE's guilty of being drunk and driving and leaving the scene. She is the driver who turned IN FRONT OF HIM.....she is the result of her friend being killed. The only thing that coud have possible been different with him driving sober- may have had better stopping ability- maybe not. Had it been you or I driving that hit them- same story...she turned in front of us. Why should he be charged with killing the girl when she was at fault for THIS PART. He needs to be charged for DUI!! No question-but he did not cause the accident.

  • CSMs Alter Ego Dec 8, 2007

    Very interesting story. I wonder how fast he was going and how much the impairment had to do with him not being able to avoid the accident.

    The most she will be charged with for the death is misdemeanor death by vehicle.

  • meka102486 Dec 8, 2007

    I just want to say that I only knew La'Reshia for about 6 months, but she and my sister were best friends they did everything together. She was so nice, I still keep thinking that this is all a dream she was always so happy. My sister calls me crying wondering who's going to braid her hair?, or who's going to fall asleep watching t.v. with her, or who is going to all the things with her that La'Reshia used to do. She's taking it so hard. She said that La'Reshia told her one day that when she died that she didn't want people to cry or where black at her funeral. I personally miss her so much I can't even look at her pictures. I'm praying for and her family everday. She is in a better place now, and being the person that she was I know she is smiling down on us all.