Local News

Wreck Leaves 1 NCCU Student Dead, 3 Injured

Posted December 8, 2007 12:34 a.m. EST
Updated December 8, 2007 10:13 a.m. EST

— 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.