Local News

NCCU Student Facing Charges in Fatal Crash

Posted December 8, 2007 9:45 p.m. EST
Updated December 9, 2007 10:10 p.m. EST

— 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.