Fellow Catamount loses life

10:22 a.m., Tuesday, March 27 – Last night a vigil for Stephanie Deese was held at the Central Plaza. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported on the student effort to install a guardrail on Speedwell Road. TJ Eaves commented on Deese, and described her as a carefree person. The story from the Asheville Citizen-Times can be read here.

3:14 p.m., Monday March 26 – Senior infielder for the WCU baseball team, Ross Heffley spoke to the Western Carolina Journalist about his thoughts on the crash. “It was tough, it happened in like the first inning and for awhile the guys were shaken up because we didn’t really know what was going on. There was sirens and helicopters flying everywhere and we didn’t know who it was or how badly they were injured. I think a lot of the guys were worried that it was one of their close friends, we just had no idea. It was a weird game. There wasn’t any music, it wasn’t the same atmosphere.”

“We really weren’t sure what to do. I guess there was talk of delaying it for like an hour or two but I wasn’t really sure what we would do. I didn’t really want to sit there and think about it.”

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the two people involved and their families. We said a little prayer for them right after it happened. It was all just surreal.”

10:14 a.m. Monday March 26–  This update comes from The Sylva Herald

WCU Police officer examines the car after the accident Sunday afternoon. WCU Police and EMS assisted in the accident, as well as MedWest EMS, MAMA, and Jackson County Rescue Squad - Photo from The Sylva Herald

Trooper S.K. Bowers of the Highway Patrol released this information –

“The wreck occurred at 1:09 p.m., Bowers said. Deese and driver Alan Huneycutt, 20, were heading north in a 2007 Hyundai Tiburon when Huneycutt drove over the right edge of the road, over-corrected to the left and collided with a tree. The vehicle came to rest down an embankment near WCU’s baseball field.”

“Huneycutt, of Concord, broke his back and sustained multiple injuries, Bowers said. Huneycutt was still at Mission Hospital as of Monday morning, and his condition was “good.”

“‘The accident is still under investigation’, Bowers said.”

Shock struck Western Carolina University Sunday afternoon. A tragic accident happened during the WCU baseball game vs. UNC Greensboro, resulting in the loss of a Catamount student.

Alan L. Huneycutt and Stephanie S. Deese, a junior, were traveling on Speedwell road near Catamount Peaks Apartments and the WCU baseball field Sunday afternoon when the accident occurred.  The vehicle ended up in the embankment and hit a tree. Baseball spectators witness the event.

Deese died from injuries she sustained during the accident.  Huneycutt was flown by Mountain Air Medical Airlift (MAMA ) to Mission Hospital in Ashville and was listed as critical condition yesterday evening.

Highway Patrolmen were investigating the accident yesterday.