NCCU students gather to mourn freshman killed in crash

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A vigil at NCCU was held Monday night to remember a student killed in a crash with an alleged drunken driver.

More than 100 North Carolina Central University students and staff came together in prayer to mourn the loss of one of their own.

Less than 24 hours after losing 18-year old Myiah Andrews, students found themselves gathering on what they call the campus' Library Bowl.

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Administrators with NCCU said Andrews was from Greenville and a pre-nursing major. They said she was in a car Sunday night with three other students. Those students were Jeremiah Phronebarger, Celi Smith and Quillon Rendleman. Rendleman was driving when another car swerved in front of them and hit the car head on, Durham Police said.

Myiah N. Andrews

In a statement, NCCU Interim Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye said one student was still in the hospital, but did not specify who.


Andrews' cousin, Okeyia Williams, is a senior at NCCU. Through tears she thanked the crowd on behalf of the family and described her cousin as a ball of energy who will be missed.

"I know that she touched a lot of people," Williams said. "She was a good person, she was jolly. She was happy."

Akinleye joined the students for Monday's vigil.

"This is really a shock for us," Akinleye said.

He said he spoke to Andrews' mother around 1 a.m., after Durham Police told her about her daughter.

"As you can imagine that's one of the most difficult calls anyone can make," said Akinleye. "Of course she was distraught and unable to speak."

He said he made that difficult call because he wanted her and the rest of the family to know that NCCU would be there to support them and Andrews' memory. He has also made sure students get the support they need during this time.

"We've deployed grief counselors for our students, because we are all dealing with this pain," Akinleye said. "As a family, the students are very close and when things like this happen they all take it very personally."

Alesha Holland is a senior at NCCU who also spoke during Monday's vigil. She is close to Andrews' cousin Williams.

"To see her sadness, to see her hurt, it just killed me because she is such a strong person," said Holland about her friend.

Through the pain, Williams said she feels better in knowing that her cousin was a happy and positive person.

"She lived life to the fullest so I feel like she's satisfied," said Williams. "I feel like she's good now."

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