The lives of two promising Harvard undergraduates, Deshaun R. Hill '99 and Harvard C. Nabrit Stephens '99, ended suddenly last Thursday during a traffic accident in Monterey Country, Calif. The Adams House rising-juniors were 20 and 19 respectively.
Hill was driving a 1997 Ford Mustang at around 5:30 p.m. when he lost control of the vehicle and crossed into the opposing lane, accroding to a California Highway Patrol report. Moments later, a 1991 Plymouth Voyager broadsided the Ford, causing it to overturn and then right iteself.
Three other cars were involved in the resulting accident; Hill and Stephens, in the front passenger seat of the Ford, suffere the only fatal injuries. Brenton Guy, a sophomore computer science and engineering student at the University of California at Davis who was riding in the rear right passenger seat of the vehicle, sustained major injuries.
None of the three young men were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash,according to the report.
Accounding to the victims' parents, the two friends were on their way to Los Angeles for the Fourth of July weekend. Stephens, working for Microsoft this summer,took a flight from Seattle to California to meet up with Hill, who was employed by Intel.
Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III said the young men made "substantial contributions to the College and will be greatly missed."
Hill and Stephenes had developed a tight network of friends in their two years at the College, according to Joseph R. Winters '99. Winters was in Nashville on Wednesday and flew to Milwaukee yesterday for the victims' funerals.
Winters met Hill on Pre-Frosh
Winter noted that Hill and Stephens were friends during their first years, but being in the same blocking group this past year really solidified their relationship.
"[Deshaun] and Harvard became really good friends. They were in many of the same classes, and they liked to hand out together," Winters said. Winters was going to room with Hill next year in Claverly.
"Deshaun was really funny-we called him 'the dirty old man'--he always made us laugh," Winters said.
But, according to Winters, Hill had a very intense side. On the intramural basketball court or while doing homework, Hill was serious about the task at hand.
Mary Ann Hill said her son was both "happy-go-lucky" and a "perfectionist."
Although he was interested in "everthing," Hill had his priorities straight, his mother said.
"Christ was first in his life," she said. "Education was second."