Classmates, friends hold vigil for NC State student

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A late-night trip that ended in tragedy has NC State University's campus community in mourning. (WTVD)

Students and faculty of NC State University's College of Engineering will hold a candlelight vigil Monday night to honor senior Cheyanne Hass.

The 22-year-old was killed in a crash on Penny Road in Holly Springs early Sunday morning.


Authorities said the engineering senior was thrown from the back seat of a car after the driver, 21-year-old James Randall Thomas, lost control in a curve, ran off the roadway, struck a tree, and then overturned.

Thomas, also a student at NC State, and another passenger, Mason Lanier, 21, were critically injured and rushed to WakeMed.

Thomas remains in critical condition. Lanier has since been released from the hospital.

Students and faculty remembered Hass as they returned to campus Monday.

"She studied hard. She was basically 110 percent, 24/7, so just hearing that this happened was kind of a heartbreaking moment for a lot of people," said fellow classmate Jack Holgado.

"She came to me after the final, shook my hands, and that's the last time I saw her, said NCSU professor Dr. Salah Bedair. "I didn't know that was a goodbye."

Holgado told ABC11 Hass was recently accepted into Duke University and planned to get a Ph.D. in Biomedicine.

"She really wanted to impact the world," he said.

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Before the accident, Hass' classmate Matt Wacenske said he was with Hass, Thomas, and Lanier at a local bar.

Investigators said both speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.

NC State's Chancellor Randy Woodson wants to remind students to be cautious when celebrating their future achievements.

"...Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this very difficult time, as well as with Mason Lanier, NC State student James Thomas and their families. To all of our students, on behalf of NC State, I want to remind and encourage each of you to take care of yourselves and look after each other, as you celebrate the end of the school year and graduation."

Authorities said charges are pending against Thomas.

"You have to remember there were other people in that accident. It was an accident, and people make mistakes, but you can't really hate them for that no matter how bad it was," said Holgado.

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