UNC officer resigns following student crash

UNC football players invlovled in May 29th crash on campus

August 17, 2011 3:59:34 AM PDT
The ABC11 I-Team is examining information about an on-campus vehicle crash that involved football players and a UNC police officer, who served as the game day officer for former head football coach Butch Davis.

The I-Team received the police report Tuesday detailing the May 29 crash on Mason Farm Road.

Click here to read the report [pdf].

According to the report, Herman Davidson, a football player who transferred from UNC three weeks before the crash, was driving the vehicle and swerved to miss an unidentified car.

UNC players Carl Gaskins, Jr., Dion Guy and Ebele Okakpu were passengers in the car Davidson was driving.

The crash caused $18,000 in damage to the car Davidson was driving, which belonged to Okakpu's father.

The police report also indicates Davidson had alcohol on his breath but was not impaired. The report doesn't say whether the other players had been drinking.

The initial report said the car was traveling the speed limit at the time of the crash; but nearly 16 hours later, the report was later changed to say the car was going 45 mph in a 25 mph zone.

The investigating officer, Sergeant Shawn Smith, wrote in the report, "I changed the travel and impact speed of the collision from 25 to 45 based on the severity of the collision and other factors combined. To have an incident of this magnitude, the vehicle had to have been traveling higher than the posted speed of 25 mph."

Davidson only received a citation for not having a valid driver's license. He was not issued a speeding ticket and none of the players were taken into custody.

Smith also was assigned to coach Davis for home and away games.

UNC says Smith resigned on July 15, six weeks after the crash, but won't say if the crash led to his resignation.

Smith denies a cover-up, but when asked about his resignation, he told the I-Team it was a "self-inflicted wound" and a "hard lesson learned."

The former officer claims on his twitter page (@Tar_Heel_Smitty) to be "the BIGGEST Tar Heel fan in existence!"

He said, "I let my love for UNC interfere with real life and I paid the price."

Smith believes he lost his job because of what he called a "message board and a few athletes."

The I-Team is looking into those claims.

The athletics department was aware of the crash and told ABC11 the three current players, Gaskins, Guy and Okakpu, were disciplined by then football coach Davis, who was fired last month for issues not related to this incident.

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