HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - A freshman at Christopher Newport University was killed and five others were injured in a head-on crash on I-64 over the weekend.
CNU freshman Sierra Smith, 19, of the 300 block of Nantucket Place in Newport News, was killed in the accident, according to CNU spokesperson Lori Jacobs.
Smith had an interest in the sciences, but was exploring the full breadth of the CNU educational experience, Jacobs said.
Smith attended Woodside High School for four years and graduated in 2011 with an advanced studies diploma. She was also a member of the National Honor Society, Newport News Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Price said.
The accident happened just before 3 a.m. Sunday on I-64 westbound in Hampton near the Newport News city line.
Police say that a Ford Taurus with five people in it was traveling westbound on I-64 when a Chevrolet Tahoe going the wrong way struck it head-on.
Jesse Leon Evans, 33, of the 500 block of Oscar Loop in Newport News, was driving the Chevrolet Tahoe, according to Virginia State Police Sgt. Michelle Anaya.
Anaya said alcohol played a factor in the cause of the accident and charges are pending based on the Commonwealth's Attorney review of the case.
According to information from Newport News General District Court, Evans is due in court later this month on DWI charges incurred on September 16.
Evans was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash and was transported to Riverside Hospital.
The driver of the Ford Taurus, Laval Noel, 22, of the 100 block of Wickre Street in Williamsburg, was also wearing his seatbelt and was airlifted to Norfolk Sentara Hospital.
Sierra Smith was seated in the middle of the rear seat and was wearing a lap restraint. Police said Smith died on impact.
The other occupants of the Ford Taurus, Emani Wade, 18, of the 900 block of Pettigrew Drive in Concord, Va., Deno Rich, 22, of the 200 block of Merrimac Trail in Williamsburg, and 17-year-old Kim Brin suffered injuries and were taken to Riverside Hospital.
The accident remains under investigation.
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