Local News

NCCU Student Facing Charges in Fatal Crash

Posted December 8, 2007
Updated December 9, 2007

— A North Carolina Central University student is facing charges after one of her passengers died in a crash Thursday.

Brittany Marshall, 19, will be charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and driving with a suspended license, authorities said Saturday.

Marshall was heading west on U.S. 70 when she tried to turn left into a parking lot in front of a pickup truck being driven by John Henry Goodfellow, 50. He then struck the passenger side of her car, according to the state Highway Patrol.

Goodfellow fled the scene, but an officer tracked him down at a Cookout restaurant about a block away. He was charged with driving while impaired. His blood-alcohol content was 0.13, authorities said.

A passenger in the back seat of Marshall's car, La'Reshia Hart, 19, was killed.

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.

Both women were listed in fair condition at Duke University Hospital on Sunday evening. Marshall was discharged from the hospital Saturday.

Initial reports said a pedestrian was pinned against a fence in the wreck. Authorities said Pettaway ended up near a fence but wasn't pinned there.

Michael Marks, who lives near where the crash happened, said he knew a wreck had occurred when he heard a loud 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."

All four women were sophomores 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

    The facts: the driver was driving without a valid/active license. If the driver had not been driving this would never had happened, drunk driver or not! No one yet knows if the female driver had been drinking along with any of the passengers including the girl that was killed! Alcohol does impair judgment and reaction. The driver of the car turned into the path of the truck driven by the drunk driver, which in a twisted legal way is fortunate as it could have been a family who wasn't drinking and more deaths could have resulted. The drunk driver did not cause the collision! Leaving the scene is wrong but that does not make him responsible or contributory in the girl's death.

  • leo-nc Dec 10, 2007

    I forgot DWLR. In this case, I would have taken her to jail for the DWLR.

  • Winston Dec 10, 2007

    Some of you posters make me ashamed to be a human. The GIRL that failed to yield, is RESPONSIBLE for the innocent life lost.

  • jackadoo Dec 10, 2007

    OK...we have a 19 yo with a suspended license (??) and a back seat girl killed and another ejected (no seatbelts). What else is new?

  • leo-nc Dec 10, 2007

    "whatelseisnew, You did not address any substantive issue.The qiestion remains why they are letting a drunk off the hook.They are trying to pin down the blame on this girl,just because she is a minority,in my opinion.Otherwise why let the drunk off the hook?"

    Wrong. They did their job and charged her with the appropriate crimes. Misdemeanor death by vehicle and failure to yield. I would have charged her as well. I would NOT charge the other driver with anything related to the crash other than hit and run. I would also charge DWI which had nothing to do with this crash. Drunk or not, he had the right of way, and she turned into his path. It's that simple, and it has nothing to do with race. Regardless of her color, the charges would have been the same. Some of you people need to get a clue.

  • aerochk87 Dec 10, 2007

    Fuquay Resident i couldnt agree with your statement more it wouldnt have mattered if Brittany was white & the drunk driver was black its not gonna bring this young girl back...sad story tho.. but you def. had a good point

  • Fuquay Resident Dec 9, 2007

    I don't see how race factors into anything here. I don't think the race of any of the people involved has been mentioned in the media. Do only black people go to NCCU? Do only white people drink and drive? But for the fact that Brittany turned left in front of the truck, the accident would not have happened.

  • Jokers Wild II Dec 9, 2007

    First of all DrunkSober, What does the amount of bond and someone getting punishment have to do with anything? the bond amount is set to ensure that the defendant appears in court, it is NOT set to keep them in jail, or punish them in anyway! The more of a flight risk, or trouble maker you are, the more of a bond you receive! Secondly, yes this girl should be charged, her actions directly resulted in the death of another human! there is something wrong with you people..

  • catch22 Dec 9, 2007

    what if the police went to pull him over and he did not stop. they say "screw it" and go on about their business. he later kills someone. who is at fault. the police for not taking action or the drunk driver.

  • brassy Dec 9, 2007

    I see no discrimination. She failed to yield. He was drunk and left the scene. Both are being charged.

    How sad that a family had to lose a daughter this way.