WCU junior dies in car accident

(Editor’s Note: The following story will be updated as information continues to come in.)

A fatal car crash occurred on Speedwell Road near Catamount Peak on Sunday afternoon during Western Carolina University’s baseball game against UNC-Greensboro. Updates pertaining to the accident are listed below.

3/26 – 11:30 a.m. – Trooper S. K. Bowers from N.C. Highway Patrol told us this morning that Huneycutt was the driver in yesterday’s accident. He was driving north on Speedwell Road when he ran off on the right, then corrected himself, but readjusted too much and ran off on the left side. The car, a 2007 Hyundai, hit a tree in midair before overturning. 

“The vehicle came to rest in a small field below the tree there,” Bowers said. 

Both the driver and the passenger were pinned, and the top of the car had to be removed to rescue them, Bowers said. It is still unknown whether Deese died on impact. Bowers and his team are still investigating the collision. 

3/25 – 10:45 p.m. – Ross Heffley, second baseman for the WCU baseball team, shared exclusively with us his reaction to today’s accident behind the baseball field and how it affected him during the game. “It definitely made it difficult to focus on the game afterward. It’s tough to concentrate on a game when something like that happens just a few yards away from you. A lot of the guys on the team were kind of shaken up, especially not knowing who was involved and wondering if it was someone we know. I actually know the guy who was driving. I haven’t heard of anything lately on his condition, but I’m praying that he’s OK.”

3/25 – 10:30 p.m. –  Fans at today’s baseball game who witnessed the accident and the emergency response afterward are beginning to speak out. WCU student Chris Downey shared this with us, “It is a tragedy that something like this happened, but I hope this event opens the eyes of the community and make sure similar areas are properly protected.”

3/25 – 9:25 p.m. – According to Telecommunicator Sherri Yopp from the Western Carolina University Police Department, the male student in the car accident this afternoon was Alan L. Huneycutt. He is listed in critical condition at Mission Hospital in Asheville.

3/25 – 8:15 p.m. – This afternoon during Western Carolina University’s baseball game against UNC-Greensboro, a fatal car crash occurred on Speedwell Road near Catamount Peak.

Two students were in the car, a male and a female. The car was traveling northbound  toward Catamount Peak and fell over the side of the hill and hit a tree midair. WCU’s Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Sam Miller released the name of the deceased as Stephanie S. Deese, a junior. The name and the condition of the male student is still unknown.

Deese was from Monroe and studied psychology.