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ECU student killed in Charlotte wreck


By Brian Wudkwych
The Daily Reflector

Monday, December 11, 2017

An East Carolina University student died early Sunday morning following an alcohol-related wreck in west Charlotte.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department reported that Destani Breanna May was killed in a crash at 2:18 a.m. on Billy Graham Parkway. Five others were injured in the wreck.

ECU officials confirmed that May, 18, was in her first term at the university and was an intended nursing major.

May was in the front passenger seat of a car driven by Zandria Lumanu Sapu, 18, that was traveling north on Billy Graham Parkway. As Sapu entered an intersection she was struck by a car driven by Roberto Juarez Ruiz, 24, that ran a red light.

Ruiz’s 2012 Dodge Charger hit the passenger side of the 2004 BMW 330CI driven by Sapu. The collision caused Sapu’s vehicle to veer into the southbound lanes of Billy Graham Parkway where it struck a 2013 Dodge Avenger before coming to a rest against a 2014 Nissan NV200.

May, who was wearing a seatbelt according to police, was transported to Carolinas Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 2:49 a.m. due to injuries sustained in the crash.

Ruiz was charged with driving under the influence, felony death by motor vehicle and driving without a license.

Police said speed and alcohol were contributing factors for the wreck. Ruiz was transported to Carolinas Medical Center with a minor injury.

Sapu was charged with driving after consuming under the age of 21. She was transported to Carolinas Medical Center with a minor injury.

Three other people involved in the crash were transported to Carolinas Medical Center with minor injuries, police said. All were wearing seatbelts.

Contact Brian Wudkwych at bwudkwych@reflector.com or 252-329-9567 and follow @brianwudkwych on Twitter.