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Driver charged in wreck that killed ECU student

By WCTI Staff
Published On: May 20 2013 05:54:23 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 04:00:56 PM CST
Elizabeth Griffiths
GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY -

A driver has been charged for a wreck that killed an ECU student last spring.

Mitchell Wilkerson, 18, of Grimesland, has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle in the crash on May 20, 2013 that killed ECU accounting major Elizabeth Griffiths, according to the clerk of Pitt County Court. The warrant was issued and served on Monday.

The wreck that killed the 20-year-old Griffiths happened on the 900 block of E. Arlington Blvd. in Greenville.

Wilkerson lost control of his Ford F-250 pickup and went into the oncoming lane, where his truck hit Griffiths' Honda Accord nearly head-on, Greenville Police told NewsChannel 12. Investigators had said that Wilkerson's truck hydroplaned due to the rain at the time.

Griffiths was taken to Vidant Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, police said.

Griffiths, from Raleigh, started at ECU in the fall of 2010, according to school officials.

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A professor at ECU is sharing fond memories of accounting major Elizabeth Griffiths, the 20-year-old student who was killed in a weather-related crash Monday afternoon.

"Elizabeth made a difference to me," said Cal Christian, the victim's accounting professor. "I've known her for five days. Wow."

The wreck that killed Griffiths happened on the 900 block of E. Arlington Blvd. at about 1:30 p.m. Monday. Griffiths was driving a Honda Accord when a Ford F-250 pickup truck hydroplaned, said Sgt. Joe Friday of the Greenville Police Department. The driver of that truck, 17-year-old Mitchell Wilkerson, of Grimesland, then lost control and went into the oncoming lane, where his truck hit Griffiths' Accord nearly head-on, Sgt. Friday said.

Griffiths was taken to Vidant Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, Sgt. Friday told NewsChannel 12.

Griffiths, from Raleigh, started at ECU in the fall of 2010. Professor Christian shared a paper that Griffiths wrote on her first day of accounting class.

 "I pretty much love everything. Even the simplest things make me happy. At the same time, I want all the people around me to be just as happy," Griffiths wrote in her paper.  "I realized that I don't have to be a doctor, or a physician's assistant, or even be in the medical field to help people.

 "I am excited to see where this takes me in my life. I'm sure it'll be some place wonderful."

Wilkerson, the driver of the truck that hit Griffiths, was also taken to Vidant with serious, but non-life threatening injuries, police said. Although the crash is still under investigation, both rain and speed appear to be factors.