Charges filed in accident that killed Duke student

Mar. 16, 2014 @ 06:45 PM

An Alabama man was charged in an accident that killed a Duke University student in Florida.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Martin Z. Hale, 25, of Jemison, Ala., was charged with driving under the influence manslaughter, driving under the influence with serious bodily injury, six counts of driving under the influence with injury and one count of driving under the influence with property damage.

Authorities say Hale’s Ford Explorer crossed a median on Interstate 10 and struck a van from Durham, killing 21-year-old Rebecca DeNardis of Cary and seriously injuring Joao Correia Marques, 21.

Nathan D. McKinnis, director of Duke’s Outdoor Adventures program, and four passengers had minor injuries.

DeNardis, a Duke senior, was a math and computer science double major. She was on the dean’s list throughout her time at school and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa honor society as a junior..

She had done two internships at tech giant Google Inc., said David Jarmul, Duke’s associate vice president for news and communications, and had a job lined up for after graduation in May.

“Even more than any of those things, everyone who worked with her said she was just an extraordinary student and person,” Jarmul said. “Her death is a great loss, most especially for her family, but also for the entire Duke community.”

Duke administrative leaders have met with her family, Jarmul said. They will coordinate a memorial service, but no plans had been announced as of Sunday evening.

The school is not commenting on the medical condition of the student who was airlifted to a hospital in Pensacola, Fla., he said.