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The Daily Tar Heel

Documents reveal new details in fatal crash involving UNC students and football players

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The Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough is pictured on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2022.

Recently released court documents obtained by The Daily Tar Heel disclose new information about the single-vehicle crash that killed UNC sophomore Mary Elizabeth “Molly” Rotunda in late January.

Ten people have been charged in the case. Six of the 10 young adults facing charges are UNC students, three of whom are UNC football players.

Flemeeja Beatrice Brewer, the driver of the car that crashed, was going an estimated 105 mph at the time of the crash on N.C. 54, according to the Chapel Hill Police Department crash report. The posted speed limit for that stretch of highway is 45 mph.

Rotunda and N.C. Central University senior Brianna Tiera Pinson were the only passengers in the car. Rotunda was killed and Pinson and Brewer were both treated for injuries. Brewer’s next court appearance is scheduled for April 30.

According to a criminal summons, CHPD says Zachary O’Brien Rice, a member of the UNC football team, was traveling in a separate vehicle just 15 yards behind the car Brewer was driving at an estimated speed of 124 mph. Previously, police declined to provide additional information about how the two vehicles were related.

The document does not provide any further information about the connection between the two cars. Rice and Pinson will both appear in court on March 7.

A number of the charges faced by the 10 people include underage drinking. Court documents reveal that the group was at Still Life, a bar on Franklin Street, before the crash.

Pinson, who is 22, was charged with helping Brewer and Rotunda consume alcohol under the age of 21. Brewer’s charges include involuntary manslaughter, driving while impaired, driving after consuming alcohol under 21 years old, speeding and use of fraudulent identification. Rice faces charges of driving after consuming alcohol under 21 years old and speeding. 

Travis Rayshawn Shaw, also a UNC football player, was charged with drinking underage. The 19-year-old also faces five counts of aiding and abetting underage possession and consumption of alcohol. He allegedly helped Rice, Brewer, Rotunda, fellow UNC football player Malaki Dazhon Hamrick and Cameren Spencer, consume alcohol. According to a criminal summons, CHPD says Shaw purchased three bottles of tequila for the booth at Still Life. 

Hamrick, also 19, faces charges of underage possession and consumption of alcohol. Spencer, who is 20 years old, was charged with underage possession and consumption of alcohol and with giving malt beverages or unfortified wine to anyone less than 21 years old. 

Still Life employees and UNC students Karissa Lauren Webb and Annelle Miyu McNair, were charged with selling alcohol to people under the age of 21. McNair faces charges of five counts and Webb faces three. McNair, Webb, Hamrick and Shaw will appear in court on March 14.

Maliyah Pellum and Caden Spender, who are not UNC students, were also charged in connection the crash. Pellum, who is 19, faces charges of underage possession and consumption of alcohol and aiding and abetting underage possession and consumption of alcohol. Caden Spender, who is 22 years old, was charged with six counts of aiding and abetting underage possession and consumption of alcohol.

Spencer, Pellum and Spender have not been officially notified of legal action taken against them, according to the Orange County Clerk of Superior Court. 

@emmymrtin

@dailytarheel | city@dailytarheel.com

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Emmy Martin

Emmy Martin is the 2023-24 editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel. She has previously served as the DTH's city & state editor and summer managing editor. Emmy is a junior pursuing a double major in journalism and media and information science.