New Bern
86° F
81° F
84° F

Vigil held to honor ECU student killed in Raleigh wreck

By Amanda Brannon
WCTI Staff
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:23:00 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 02 2013 06:41:35 PM CST

More than 50 friends and fraternity brothers gathered outside the Sigma Phi Epsilon house Monday night to honor an ECU student killed in a fiery Raleigh wreck that also claimed the life of another person.

Students read scripture, lit candles and shared stories about their friend, Edward Blake Tolley, known as Blake amongst friends.

Sigma Phi Epsilon's president, Clay Schools, said Tolley was very active in intramural sports in the fraternity and got along with everyone.

"Blake was a very special person. He was a kind person ...He had a lot of good friends because he was a good friend to a lot of people. Always supportive of everyone and was always someone you could count on to be there," Schools said.

He said the fraternity brothers have had a difficult time dealing with their loss.

"Everybody is sad. It's hard. We are all a pretty tight group," Schools said.

A memorial service in honor of Tolley is scheduled for Tuesday at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. A reception for family and friends will follow.

Tolley and Logan Sloane Aronson, both 23, died when their car hit a tree and split in half on the 1400 block of Lynn Road in Raleigh, investigators told WTVD. The accident happened Friday night.

Tolley, of Raleigh, was an ECU student majoring in construction management, school officials told NewsChannel 12. He enrolled in fall 2009 and joined Sigma Phi Epsilon in spring 2012.

According to Raleigh Police, Aronson was driving 81 mph in a 45 mph zone when his white Acura ran off the road and slammed into a tree, splitting the car in half. The passenger side of the vehicle remained lodged in the tree and caught fire, while the driver's side traveled more than 65 feet, hitting two more trees before coming to a stop, said investigators.

Tolley was fully ejected from the vehicle, police said. Neither victims were wearing seat belts and both were pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said although they believe the moment of impact happened when Aronson was driving 81 mph in a 45 mph zone, he was going as fast as 90 mph at one point. Alcohol may have also been a factor and authorities are waiting for test results, police said.

No other vehicles were involved and no other injuries were reported.

Tolley is survived by his parents, a sister, several aunts and uncles, and several cousins.

In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. Condolences may be sent to