Local News

Officials identify Campbell University students killed in crash

Posted September 7

— The North Carolina Highway Patrol named on Thursday two male students who were killed in a crash near Campbell University on Wednesday evening.

The driver has been identified as Brandon Patrick Punzalan, 18, of Wilmington, and the passenger has been identified as Judson Clint Regan, 18, of Roxboro. Both men were wearing their seatbelts, officials said. Both men died at the scene.

Authorities said the crash happened at about 5:45 p.m. on U.S. Highway 421 in Harnett County when the students' Honda Accord crashed into a Duke Energy truck. The men in the truck, identified as Ronald Leslee Gillis, 40, and Kyle James Smith, 23, were not injured.

Officials said the Honda Accord ran off the left side of the road, striking a guardrail end, before correcting and striking the truck.

Authorities said the accident appeared to be weather related, as it was raining heavily at the time. The exact cause of the crash remains under investigation.

“It just hits us really hard. We actually were coming back from the gym and we drove past the scene and saw some of the debris on the road and it’s really sad. On behalf of everyone at the university, I just want to reach out to those families and [say] prayers are with you,” said one student on campus Wednesday night.

A spokeswoman for the university said counselors will be on site Thursday.

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