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A U-Haul carrying 65 University of Virginia (UVa) students overturned and crushed a Volkswagen Wednesday night, killing two passengers and seriously injuring 14. Police officers on the scene said the student driver had been drinking before the accident.
The UVa student paper yesterday quoted Virginia State Police as saying they saw beer cans rolling out of the truck at the scene of the accident. But David Trinkle, president of the Inter-Fraternity Council, said the driver. David Holmes, had told police he had one beer and had passed the police's non-intoxication test.
Holmes is being charged only with reckless driving. Police said the truck was on the wrong side of the two-lane highway, but are still uncertain whether the truck overturned onto the Volkswagen or the ear ran into the truck.
One 17-year-old freshman. Brian H. McKittrick, from Oakton. Va. was pronounced dead on arrival at Lynchburg General Hospital Chris Meigs, an 18-year-old freshman from Arlington. Va., died yesterday morning due to multiple injuries to his head, chest and stomach.
The passengers were fraternity members and "rushees" traveling to Randolph-Macon Women's College. Libby Wilson, a spokesman for the UVA information services, said the fraternities started using U-Hauls for frequent "rolls" to women's colleges, but that most have discontinued the practice.
The Inter Fraternity Council, a council of fraternity officers, voted unanimously to ban the use of non-passenger vehicles for any such trips at a special meeting Thursday night.
A poll of fraternity presidents this week showed that eight out of 30 had used U-Hauls for trips this year. Deborah Katz, a reporter for the campus daily the Cavalier, said yesterday.
The accident is the first in which students have been fatally injured while driving in trucks, officials said.
Trinkle said the fraternity was violating its contract for the U-Haul by using it to transport "persons or intoxicating liquors." The penalty for contract violation is loss of insurance, he added.
In a statement issued Thursday, the fraternity council said the road trip was" organized in a responsible and detailed manner. "Sigma Chi, the fraternity involved, also issued a statement saying the driver of the truck was "completely sober."
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