Car ran off road, burst into flames

Updated: June 12, 2004, 4:17 PM ET
Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Duke defensive lineman Micah Harris was killed in a single-car accident in Virginia, police said Saturday.

Harris, 21, was traveling north Friday on Interstate 85 when his car ran off the road, struck several trees in the median and burst into flames about two miles north of Warfield, Va., said Sgt. D.S. Carr with the Chesapeake division of the Virginia State Police.

The accident happened shortly before noon Friday. Witnesses stopped and tried to help Harris before the car caught fire, Carr said.

"Nobody could get to him in time," he said.

Carr said it was unclear why Harris, a native of Poland, Ohio, ran off the road and into the tree-lined median, which divides the four-lane highway about 25 miles southwest of Petersburg, Va.

But Duke coach Ted Roof said he was told by authorities that Harris apparently fell asleep at the wheel.

Harris was on his way to visit a friend in Richmond, Va., Roof said.

"It's a sad day, a big loss for his family and our football family," he said.

Harris, a senior, was a two-year starter for the Blue Devils. Last year, the 6-foot-4, 235-pound defensive end had 32 tackles, 2½ sacks and two forced fumbles for the Blue Devils, who finished 4-8.

Harris has 124 tackles and 6½ sacks in his Duke career. He was expected to anchor the defensive line again this season.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press