Two students attending an
academic enrichment program for incoming freshmen at Wingate University were killed
Aug. 14 in a Union County car accident.
The students were in a caravan
to a nearby team-building course.
According to the Charlotte
Observer, Trooper R.L. Lankford said a Saturn being driven by Mishawn Miller,
18, of Fayetteville, ran a stop sign at White Store Road about 9 a.m. and was
struck on the driver’s side by a grain truck.
Miller and Arielle Parker,
18, of Greensboro, who was sitting on the right side of the back seat, were
killed on impact.
Marcelle Louba, 18, a
Mallard Creek graduate from Charlotte, was sitting behind the driver. She was
in critical but stable condition at Carolinas Medical Center.
Kendric Reid, 19,
of Greencastle, Pa., was in the front passenger seat. He was treated at the
hospital for minor injuries.
All four were wearing seat
The driver of the grain
truck, 52-year-old Carlton Watkins, of Ellberbe, was also treated for minor
Lankford said alcohol and
drugs didn’t seem to be a factor in the crash.
“A witness there said the
Saturn never slowed down,” Lankford said. “The driver of the grain truck said
he didn’t see him until it was too late.”
Wingate spokeswoman Jennifer
Gaskins said the program was new to the university this year. Aimed at helping
incoming freshmen adjust to college life, the 21 students that arrived Aug. 1
had become close friends.
“Right now all of our
prayers and support are focused upon the families and the classmates of these
students,” Wingate University President Jerry McGee said in a statement. “This
is heartbreaking news as these promising young men and women were and are new
members of our campus family.”
The rest of the student body
begins moving in Friday, and classes begin Aug. 24.
University officials met
with other members of the group on Saturday, Gaskins said.
“We’re just very saddened
and just doing everything we can to support the students,” Gaskins said. “We
have not had a tragedy like this since I can remember.”