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Thursday, June 13, 2024

North Carolina A&T Student Speaks Out After ‘Aggie Fest’ Hit & Run

Emmani Raynes, a 20-year-old student at North Carolina A&T University, is currently recovering from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run incident over the weekend.

“I’m in a lot of pain, but I’m thankful to be alive,” she says.

Last Friday, March 29th, a Black Nissan Altima drove through a crowd of people on South Eugene Street in Greensboro, North Carolina. The incident occurred during Aggie Fest, — an annual, week-long festival for students and community residents.

Emmani tells us that she and her friends were leaving the event when they heard screaming. She says seconds later she saw a group of people running in her direction. “As I’m running onto the sidewalk, a vehicle comes behind me, scoops me up and I slide and hit my head on the pavement, face first,” she tells us.

A viral video has also circulated online showing the Black Nissan hitting multiple people before speeding off down the street.

Greensboro police say at least six people were taken to the hospital Friday night after the incident. Jacob another NCAT student who attended the event, told FOX8 WGHP, that the incident was reportedly sparked by a fight between two or more women.

“I believe two or more girls started fighting or whatever and a dude threw a charger at the police officer to get the police officer off of the girl…he threw the charger and the cop said ‘I am about to mace’ and everybody started running,” he said. Jacob, who wished to remain anonymous, was just one of hundreds of students at the event. He shared that he had to jump out of the way to avoid getting hit.

South Eugene Street, Greensboro, NC.

According to Emmani, the sizeable gathering can be attributed to the cancellation of a party that was later merged with the ongoing Aggie Fest. According to Jacob, at least a thousand students began running across South Eugene Street, near the junction with Whittington Street.

“You heard him slam on the gas and rev his engine up and then all of a sudden you just see the car come flying past and just hit 10-15 people…I was standing right there and it was something you don’t believe because you don’t see it on a daily, like a day-to-day, it threw me for a loop and I was like did that really just happen,” Jacob said.

Emmani sustained multiple injuries including a head, hip, and knee injury, a chipped tooth, shoulder scarring, and a laceration on her left eyebrow.

The Aggie Fest has had a history of safety issues in recent years, with an increase in crime-related incidents each year, as noted in an op-ed from the NCAT Register in 2018.

“Many older Aggies remember Aggie Fest being as big as homecoming, turning out huge crowds of students, students from other HBCUs, and even locals,” Zila Sanchez, editor-in-chief of the NCAT Register wrote at the time.

“It started around 1980, and by 1985, it had become the premiere college spring event.”

But Sanchez wrote that as the years went by, the Aggie Fest became “overshadowed by the glory of what it used to be.”

“Unfortunately, the event grew too fast and caused many issues,” she said. As quickly as
it rose to fame, it was shut down after four people were shot by non-students in 1990.”

“It was successfully brought back in 1991 as the “Spring Spectacular,” but was shut down again in 1992 after a riot erupted, where 300 to 500 people blocked traffic, jumped on cars, and threw rocks and bottles. These violent eruptions tarnished the reputation of Aggie Fest and forced the school to rethink hosting such large social events.”

Greensboro police confirm that the car left the scene and the department has not released any information about any possible suspects or arrests.

Emmani expressed her hopes to receive an apology from the driver. She also hopes that this unfortunate incident will help raise awareness about the importance of creating and maintaining secure spaces for students and the Greensboro community.

North Carolina A&T University was not involved in the organization of the Aggie Fest. However, they have been informed of the incident and we are waiting to hear back on a comment or statement.

Authorities have asked that anyone with information about this incident please contact Greensboro/Guilford Crime Stoppers at (336) 373-1000. All tips to Crime Stoppers are completely anonymous.

*This story is developing and will be updated when more information becomes available.

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