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Photos by Kellen Moore.




Originally published: 2012-01-29 01:48:36
Last modified: 2012-01-29 17:53:18

Car plunges into ASU Duck Pond

Four Appalachian State University students were frigid but safe late Saturday night after their vehicle skidded off the road and plunged into the ASU Duck Pond.
The wreck happened at about 11:15 p.m. as a white Ford Mustang was traveling up Stadium Drive and ran off the road to the right, knocking out several bricks surrounding the pond before dunking into the water.
All four occupants were able to free themselves from the two-door vehicle as bystanders rushed to their aid and called for help. Senior Police Officer Travis Osborne identified the occupants as driver Justin Ferrell, 19, and passengers Eric Hoithcuck, 19, Amy Birner, 18, and Kelsey Gantt, 18.
Freshman Christian Roseboro said he was standing near the corner of Stadium Drive and Rivers Street across from the pond when he heard tires screeching and saw the car swerve.
He and others rushed over as the car began to sink.
"It was definitely under in 30 seconds," Roseboro said.
The students were taken to their dorms for a change of clothes before returning to the scene. Despite being somewhat shaken and concerned about lost belongings, the freshman students said they were not hurt.
"We were in the back, and the guys pulled us out," Birner said.
Roseboro said the car appeared to be speeding excessively, but Osborne estimated the speed at only 35 to 40 mph. He said he did not believe alcohol or drug use was involved.
Ferrell was cited for careless and reckless driving, Osborne said.
Dozens of students gathered around the Duck Pond to watch as firefighters and a wrecker from Hampton's Body Shop removed the submerged car, chanting and cheering when the bumper finally appeared from beneath the water.
Ironically, several bystanders said they had just left a showing of the movie "Drive," a film about a Hollywood stuntman and getaway driver, at I.G. Greer Hall.
Roseboro said he was lucky to be on the opposite side of the road when the crash occurred.
"Had they come that way, it would have cleared us out," Roseboro said. "I'm blessed. I'm thankful."

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