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Motorcycle accident claims life of student wrestler
By Sonia Jackson
Serrell Crishon Smith, a 20-year-old student at the University of North Carolina Pembroke, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Hoke County Jan. 11 at 10:05 a.m.
According to State Trooper Crumpler's police report, Smith was driving the authorized speed limit of 55 mph behind James Long, 35, the driver of Ideal Home Furniture's panel truck, going east on Philippi Church Road.
Long then made a left turn at 15 mph into a private drive at 4994 Philippi Church Road.
Smith tried to slow down, but lost control of his motorcycle, a 2005 Suzuki, according to the trooper's report. His vehicle went left of the center and slid underneath the truck. The two vehicles then stopped in the private driveway. No charges were filed against Long.
Smith first entered UNCP in fall 2003. He was majoring in biology medicine and was also on the wrestling team.
"Serrell was a very likeable young man who had many friends on the team and around campus. He always had a smile and was the kind of person everyone enjoyed to be around. He worked hard in practice and was a great competitor-he will be missed by all," P.J. Smith, UNCP head wrestling coach, said.
"Great young man-he will be missed by his teammates and classmates. UNCP athletes plan on attending his services next week," Dan Kenney, UNCP athletics director said.
Facebook, an online network that connects people from different colleges and high school, allowed students and friends of Smith to voice their thoughts on Smith's profile.
"I am really gonna miss you. Whenever I saw you, you had a smile on your face. You had a lot of friends and it is showing through in this outpouring of love on your wall," UNCP student Joanetta Ingram said.
Smith lived with his family in Fayetteville.
The funeral was held Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. at Cunningham and Sons Funeral Home, Diane Jones, vice chancellor for student affairs, said.
Editor’s Note: Pine Needle Assistant Web Editor Sonia Jackson is an intern for The News Journal in Raeford and covered this story as her second assignment.