Two East Carolina University students, including a 22-year-old sorority member from Charlotte, died in a crash in South Carolina on Friday, and two students were hospitalized with serious injuries, authorities said.
The two-car collision just east of the Interstate 26-Interstate 95 junction in Orangeburg County, also killed the driver of the other car, Trooper 1st Class Tyler Tidwell of the SC Highway Patrol said.
Shea Crothers of Charlotte, 18-year-old James Stanley of Sneads Ferry and 51-year-old Walter Lee Prezzy Jr. of Holly Hill, S.C. , died in the wreck, according to the Orangeburg County Coroner’s office.
Crothers and Stanley were passengers in the car in which two fellow ECU students were seriously injured, authorities said. Prezzy was driving the oncoming car that collided with them.
“There are no words to express the amount of sadness we are feeling today,” ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton said in a statement released by the university. “This is truly devastating news, and we ask that all Pirates come together and join me in holding these students and their families deeply in our hearts and prayers during this unspeakable time.”
All four students belonged to fraternities and sororities at ECU, according to the statement. SC authorities have not released the names of the two ECU students who remained hospitalized Saturday.
The crash happened on U.S. 15 near Theater Drive, about three miles west of Holly Hill, Tidwell said.
The students were northbound in a 2016 Honda Coupe that collided with a southbound 1999 Acura sedan, according to the trooper.
Tidwell said a team of SC. Highway Patrol investigators is trying to determine how the wreck happened.
“The full breadth of our staff and resources will be available to the students, faculty and staff on our campus,” Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for student affairs, said in the university’s statement. “We will have crisis counselors as well as members of the Dean of Students Office, the Division of Student Affairs and ECU’s entire community ready to assist our students through this tragic time.”
Crisis counseling services will be available all next week to students by visiting the ECU Center for Counseling and Student Development in Umstead Hall. Anyone needing to speak to a counselor this weekend should call 252-328-6661 and select option “2” to speak with a crisis counselor.