Editor's note: This story was first published Dec. 28, 2010
CHARLOTTE - A weekend car crash claimed the life of Hannah Floyd, a 24-year-old Chester native remembered as a gifted student with a vivacious personality.
Floyd graduated with honors two weeks ago from Winthrop University, where she double-majored in biology and psychology.
"She was a pleasure to teach and was no doubt capable of going on to a top-notch graduate program," said Dr. Joe Prus, chairman of the psychology department at Winthrop.
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"The death of a young person is always tragic, but with this one comes the loss of someone with great promise."
Floyd was a passenger in a car that slid off the right side of northbound Interstate 85 around 3:40 a.m. Sunday near W.T. Harris Boulevard in northern Mecklenburg County.
The driver of the car, Maegan Dacus, lost control on in the icy interstate and slid off the highway crashing into a utility pole.
The investigating trooper reported that weather conditions and alcohol were factors in the crash, Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Gordon said.
Dacus was injured in the crash along with another passenger in the car. Dacus is listed in serious condition at Carolina Medical Center.
Police said Dacus has already been charged with DWI. More charges are pending.
Troopers said the car was traveling below the speed limit, but still too fast for weather conditions because of ice and snow.
It was among four weather-related fatal traffic accidents reported in North Carolina over the snowy and icy holiday weekend.
The ambulance was in an accident on its way to the hospital, and that crash remains under investigation.
Floyd had "real pizzazz," said Prus, a former professor.
After completing her studies at Winthrop, Floyd planned to study neuropsychology, the study of the brain and its functions.
A photo posted on her Facebook page showed a smiling Floyd at work in a lab, standing in front of a table of test jars.
Before enrolling at Winthrop, Floyd graduated from the S.C. Governor's School for Science and Mathematics.
Floyd's talents extended to the softball field. She won a spot on the Chester Dixie Girls All-Star team in 2002 and hit a home run in her first at-bat.
A love for animals led Floyd to volunteer at the Chester Animal Shelter.
"She always made honor roll in school," said grade school classmate Rodney Orr of Chester. "You could tell she always studied, did everything that she needed to do to have a successful life."
Floyd's funeral will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at First Baptist Church in Chester.
Floyd is survived by her father, Bill Floyd of Chester; her mother, Fran Floyd McNaughton and her husband, Bryant, of Chester; and one brother, Tripp Floyd, of Chester.
- The Herald's news partner WSOC-TV contributed