Scott Fowler

UNC’s Luke Maye flips car on I-85, walks away unhurt

Luke Maye, one of the stars of North Carolina’s run to the 2017 NCAA tournament men’s basketball championship, was involved in a car accident on Interstate 85 Thursday that included Maye’s car flipping several times and coming to rest upside down.

Ultimately, though, Maye’s parents said their son walked away with no more than a few bumps and bruises. Maye still made it to both his youngest brother Drake’s middle-school graduation Thursday night and to Huntersville Elementary Friday morning – where Maye was scheduled to be the guest speaker for the graduation ceremony at his former elementary school.

“Yes, Luke had a car accident this afternoon coming home for his brother’s middle school graduation,” Mark Maye said in a text message Thursday night. “Was very fortunate. Thank the good Lord he is fine. Put a real scare in him – and us.”

Aimee Maye, Luke’s mother, said Friday morning her son did not have to go to the hospital for evaluation “because he was clearly fine at the scene.” His car, however, was totaled.

Mark Maye, a former standout quarterback for the Tar Heels in the 1980s, said no one else was hurt in the wreck. The accident occurred as Maye drove alone from Chapel Hill back toward his home in Huntersville near mile marker 94 on Interstate 85 South.

“He did run into an 18-wheeler and spun his car around, landing on a bank beside the road,” Mark Maye said in another text message. “Damaged the car pretty bad, but he (Luke) said he feels perfectly fine.” Because the car was totaled, Mark Maye picked his son up from the accident scene, which was about an hour from the family’s home.

The Mayes said they had heard some conflicting reports about the severity of their son’s accident, owing to the fact that a separate wreck occurred about 15 miles away at close to the same time and also involved a tractor-trailer. In that wreck, two people had to be taken to the hospital with severe injuries.

“That was thankfully not Luke’s wreck,” Aimee Maye said. “Everybody was fine in Luke’s accident.”

Luke Maye’s biggest moment during the 2016-17 UNC season came when he made the game-winning basket against Kentucky in an NCAA tournament game, a shot that has rapidly become known as one of the biggest last-minute shots in the school’s history.

Maye will be a junior next season and is projected to be a starter for the Tar Heels as they try to defend their national title. He averaged 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last season as a reserve forward. Maye previously starred at Hough High in Cornelius.