Local News

Head-On Crash Kills Campbell Professor, 2nd Driver

Posted March 16, 2008

— A head-on, two vehicle crash Saturday night on U.S. Highway 701 in Sampson County claimed the lives of a Campbell University pharmacy professor and a second driver and injured a third person, the Highway Patrol said.

Lewis M. Fetterman Jr.,  58, of Clinton, was driving a Chrysler minivan south when a northbound 1992 Ford crossed the highway and they collided head-on, troopers said. The Ford driver, Alejandro Antonio Rivas, also died.

Joni-Fay Watts Fetterman, 56, a passenger in the minivan, was taken to Sampson Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, the patrol reported. She was released from the hospital Sunday.

The crash happened about 1.7 miles south of Newton Grove.

Troopers said Rivas, of 264 Preston Lane, is thought to have had alcohol in his system. Toxicology reports have not been released yet. The 46-year-old was not a licensed driver, troopers said.

Lewis Fetterman was an assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Campbell. He held a doctorate in analytical chemistry.

“He was viewed as a strong, forthright, Christian, gentleman scholar and I think we're all deeply saddened by his loss,” said Dr. Thomas Holmes, associate dean of pharmaceutical sciences at Campbell.

Holmes, taught along side Fetterman. He said students and faculty will remember Fetterman for his work, his friendship and his strong connections to this university.

In 1950, Fetterman's mother, Annabelle Lundy Fetterman, opened the Lundy Packing Company in Clinton. The meat packing plant was sold to Premium Standard Farms in 2000. The Fetterman family is a big financial supporter of Campbell.

“At moments like this, we share the grief and (we) support the family through this difficult time,” Holmes said.

The university's School of Business in named in honor of the Lundy-Fetterman family.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • cucamelsmd15 Mar 18, 2008

    As an alumni and former student of Dr. Fetterman, I am deeply saddened by his loss. He was a great asset to the University, and he will be deeply missed. My condolences to the family.

  • simracer68 Mar 17, 2008

    "the fettermans are very popular in our town of clinton and in sampson county itself...i can bet that the man responsible will NOT get off lightly."

    Well, that depends on how "light" you consider death to be. The article plainly says "The Ford driver, Alejandro Antonio Rivas, also died."

    No driver's license, noted, but how about a immigration legality status on this person too WRAL? Reporting the facts is not xenophobic, regardless of what Katie Couric says or does.

  • Supie Mar 17, 2008

    what I find disturbing is that drinking and driving that results in a death is not considered murder. Thats just wrong. It is murder. When a driver is so impaired that he crosses into the oncoming lane he is a murderer.

  • mythoughts22 Mar 17, 2008

    the fettermans are very popular in our town of clinton and in sampson county itself...i can bet that the man responsible will NOT get off lightly.

  • NC_native_belle Mar 17, 2008

    AMEN NC NATIVE 56!! I couldn't have said it better myself. I am sick to death of our judicial system. It protects the guilty... not the innocent. It gives them to many "Well, let's see if they can get it right this time" cards, and sends them back into the world. During that time, majority of them go right back doing the same thing, except this time the damage is usually far worse & it could have been prevented. AND we the tax payers have to pay for them while they are sitting in jail. Why not their families pay for their dinners instead of us! Maybe then they won't have the promise of "3 meals a day"... but I am getting off the subject.

  • R.O.BdaCZAR Mar 17, 2008

    Condolences to the Campbell family.

  • doodad Mar 17, 2008

    Rivas' car reeked of alcohol and was filled with empty containers.

    If a person's license is revoked, then their vehicle should be confiscated until they get their license back. It they borrow a vehicle and cause a death while drunk or reckless driving, the owner of the vehicle should be charged.

  • Tarheel True Mar 17, 2008

    I am so tired of societal "filth,' taking producive members of our society. This week Professor Fetterman, two weeks ago Eve Carson.

    Productive society members should take these incidents as an "awakening," and conduct themselves accordingly when they are confronted by societal filth.

    EVERY state politician that is now in office should be repulsed in the November election, and people should be elected that are willing to make hard decisions to protect civil society. As of right now, in NC, the only people being protected and served by government entities are drunks, criminals and "illegal" aliens.

  • tlautry0816 Mar 17, 2008

    I was currently one of Dr. Fetterman's students. Over the past year, he has taught me to pay great attention to detail, something that will continue to benefit me in life. He always smiled in class, and was never in a bad mood. Last week, he stayed up until 4 am typing a powerpoint for class because a lecturer canceled last minute. The lecture he gave was so detailed we would have never known he had put it together last minute. No one will be able to replace him. I was blessed to have him influence my life for a small amount of time.

  • suchhappiness Mar 17, 2008

    That's two death by auto accidents in just today's paper caused
    by intoxicated, U-N-L-I-C-E-N-C-E-D drivers.