DWI charge after college graduate dies in car crash: NC cops


Peyton Lee studied agriculture, the school said.

Screenshot from Mount Olive University Facebook

A student was close to graduating when he died in a crash that hit a small North Carolina campus.

Peyton Lee, a 21 year old college graduate, was driving the car when it crashed into a brick barrier on Friday, Sept. 16, Sgt. J. Ar. Benton of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol told McClatchy News in a telephone interview.

Lee was killed in the crash, which injured three other students. All attended Mount Olive University.

“It’s a very sad day for Mount Olive UniversityH. Edward Krum, the school’s president, wrote on Facebook. “We’re a tight-knit family here at the university and it hit us hard.”

Now one of the classmates of the 21-year-old boy is accused of the fatal accident. Dylan Stacey of Sanford is charged with driving while impaired, failure to wear a seat belt, careless and reckless driving and driving after consuming alcohol under the age of 21, Benton said. At the time of the crash, Stacey was 20, which is under the age of majority in Wayne County legal drinking age in north carolina.

The accident happened on Cricket Ridge Road, near college campus and about 65 miles southeast of Raleigh. Stacey was driving when he ran off the road, hit brick markers and overturned in a yard, Benton told McClatchy News.

No one in the car was wearing a seat belt, Benton said. Stacey and his two passengers were injured and taken to nearby hospitals, including one with serious injuries.

Lee, who was from Four Oaks, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lee is remembered as an “old soul” who studied Environmental and natural resources in college. He was too participates in church and “loved his family to infinity,” according to a post on the Faith OFWB Church – Four Oaks Facebook page and his online obituary.

“It all seems so unfair,” said an obituary on Rose & Graham Funeral Home’s website.

After the fatal crash, Mount Olive University said in a Facebook post that it had set up a memorial table for Lee on its campus.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the Lee family and our prayers for everyone else,” the school’s president wrote on Sept. 16. “Please pray for all four of these families and for our university family.”

The college is a private Christian school that has about 2000 students in the fall of 2021, according to US News & World Report.

The university and the NC Highway Patrol did not immediately share additional information with McClatchy News on Sept. 18.

Simone Jasper is a reporter who covers breaking news for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.

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