Clemson student riding with twin brother killed in crash on I-85 - FOX Carolina 21

Clemson student riding with twin brother killed in crash on I-85 in NC

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Alec DeJong (Source: Family) Alec DeJong (Source: Family)
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Clemson University community is mourning the loss of a student killed in a crash along I-85 on December 16.

The university said in a news release that Alec DeJong, 21, died in the crash. He was a junior marketing major from Earlysville, Virginia.

“We send our heartfelt condolences to Alec’s family and friends, including his twin brother, Brandon,” said Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students L. Christopher Miller stated in a news release. “The Clemson family stands with Brandon and the DeJong family during this difficult time.”

“Clemson is saddened by the loss of student Alec DeJong. His family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers,” Clemson President Jim Clements added on Twitter.

Communications Professor Eddie Smith said DeJong was one of his favorite, someone who caught his eye on the first day of class more than two years ago.

"He was sitting about halfway back and a little to my left," Smith said. "He just had a big smile that you knew there's a kid that's going places."

Smith said he was entering in final grades when he heard the tragic news.

"I couldn't believe it," Smith said. "I couldn't do grades I was so stunned that he had passed away because he was just so full of life that it's hard to imagine him not being here with us."

The professor said he saw something in DeJong and quickly took him under his wing, he recommended him for internships and job opportunities.

"He was one of the most reliable people I've ever known in my life," Smith said.

The mentor said there's no doubt in his mind, Alec would have done big things.

"Everyone who knew Alec loved him," Smith said. "We're going to miss him very much, very much."

According to WSOC-TV, DeJong was riding in a Volvo being driven by his twin brother on I-85 in Cabarrus County when the Volvo rear ended a truck that swerved to avoid a collision with another vehicle.

Clemson confirmed that Brandon DeJong, also a Clemson student, survived the crash.

Phillip Sikes, a spokesman for the university, said the brothers were believed to be traveling home to Virginia for the holidays when the crash occurred.

Students who want to speak to a counselor about the tragedy can call 864-656-2451.

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