RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) – An argument may have led to the death of a 22-year-old Shaw University student who got out of the car she was riding in and was then struck by another car Sunday morning, Raleigh police said.
Police said that they were told that the woman, identified as Keyona Charlissa Verdell, 22, was riding in a car with a man and woman when she got in an argument with them and asked to get out. The driver let her out on New Hope Church Road, Raleigh Police said.
The car’s driver and a woman tried to “persuade Verdell to reenter the vehicle, but she declined and continued to walk, heading eastbound on New Hope Church Road,” police said in a statement.
As Verdell attempted to cross New Hope Church Road on foot, she was struck by a 2002 Toyota sedan traveling eastbound.
The incident occurred at approximately 6 a.m. between Bonneville Court and Green Road.
Verdell, who was a former Shaw cheerleader and was majoring in business, died while being transported to WakeMed.
Shaw University released a statement Sunday afternoon:
With great sadness, Shaw University announced today the passing of student Keyona Verdell. Keyona was tragically struck and killed by a vehicle this morning on New Hope Church Road in Raleigh, NC.
Keyona was a third-year student from Winston-Salem, NC studying business administration and management. She was also a former member of the University’s cheerleading team known as the Chi-Chis.
“The loss of Keyona is devastating to our entire University community,” said Shaw University President Tashni Dubroy. “She was a young woman with an enormous future ahead and beloved by so many here on campus. We are in shock to have another Shaw student unexpectedly pass just as we are starting our semester. We send our deepest condolences to Keyona’s family and will continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers during this time of grief.”
A service in honor of Keyona’s memory will be held on campus this week. Additional information will be provided once details are confirmed.”
The driver of the 2002 Toyota, Dimas Martinez-Ismal, age 32, was not charged in the crash, but was cited for operating a vehicle without an operator’s license.
A brief scuffle broke out after Verdell was hit, police said.
The man who was previously in the car with Verdell, Terrence Archibald, age 29, was charged with simple assault and damage to property after Martinez-Ismal’s cell phone was broken, Raleigh Police said.
The accident is still under investigation.
WNCN contributed to this post.