Local News

Funeral planned for former NC State standout

Posted June 29, 2011 3:47 p.m. EDT
Updated June 30, 2011 1:21 p.m. EDT

— A funeral will be held Saturday for former North Carolina State University basketball player Lorenzo Charles, who was killed in a tour bus wreck on Monday. 

Visitation will be held at 10 a.m. at Wake Chapel Church, 3805 Tarheel Club Road. Funeral services will follow at 11 a.m. WRAL.com will stream video of the service live online.

Charles was driving for Elite Tour of Apex when he swerved off Interstate 40 near the N.C. Highway 54 interchange.

In a wreck report released Wednesday, authorities said the bus was going 70 mph – five miles above the speed limit – before the wreck. It traveled 383 feet through the grass shoulder across the on-ramp from eastbound Chapel Hill Road and into the wooded area next to the on-ramp.

The vehicle struck several trees and was redirected back towards the highway where it came to rest.

The bus sustained heavy damage to its front end, and Charles, 47, was pronounced dead at the scene. He wasn't wearing a seat belt, according to the police report.

No other vehicles were involved in the wreck, and no passengers were on the bus at the time.

Charles thrust the game-winning dunk into the hoop at the 1983 NCAA men’s basketball championship game and secured his spot in sports history.

On Wednesday, Charles was honored at the James A. Naismith Sportsmanship Award ceremony at the Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.

"In 1983, he was in the right place at the right time, and the other afternoon he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, I guess," former N.C State player Tommy Burleson said. "It just hurts us as a team family to lose somebody like that tragically."