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Mother sues, claims East Carolina Delta Sigma Theta death was due to sleep deprivation from hazing: WRAL.COM

from WRAL.COM

Nashville, N.C. — The mother of an East Carolina University student who died in a crash almost two years ago filed a wrongful death suit Monday against a sorority at the school, claiming that hazing led to the fatal wreck.

Victoria T’nya-Ann Carter, 20, of Raleigh, was one of two ECU students killed on Nov. 20, 2010, when the car they were riding in went off a road in Greenville and hit a tree. [Editor: The other was Briana Latrice Gather, 20] Both young women were pledges headed to a beauty salon prior to their sorority induction]

The driver, Kamil Shaunay Arrington, of Nashville, was charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by vehicle in the crash.

Arrington, Carter and two other passengers in the car were members of the pledge class for Delta Sigma Theta at ECU.

A lawsuit filed in Nash County by Carter’s mother, Bernadette Carter, alleges that the sorority hazed the pledges in multiple ways, including depriving them of sleep. The hazing violated ECU policies, but sorority officials dismissed any complaints university officials received, according to the suit.

Arrington was so exhausted after weeks of hazing that she fell asleep while driving Carter and their classmates to an early-morning sorority appointment, the suit states.

The sorority later tried to cover up the hazing by deleting emails, text message records and other documents and threatening pledges, according to the lawsuit.

The suit, which also names the national Delta Sigma Theta sorority and more than two dozen members of the ECU chapter, is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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