Lorenzo Charles dies in tragedy on I40

WRAL is reporting that a Wolfpack legend died today in a terrible bus accident on I40. Charles, 47, was allegedly driving a tour bus that ran off the road this afternoon just before rush hour traffic.

Charles is undoubtedly the most responsible man for one of the single most spectacular plays in college basketball history that gave many of us one of the more magical moments of our lives.

Rest in peace, big fellow. Thank you for the greatest of memories from all Wolfpack faithful.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lo and the Charles family.

Read more here: WRAL.

Update: ESPN.com story with quotes from Mark Gottfried, Dereck Whittenburg and Herb Sendek.

And here are some very nice comments from Jay Bilas:

I am deeply saddened to hear of Lorenzo Charles passing. I played against him, and guarded him. A great player. I liked him very much.

Lorenzo Charles was incredibly strong. Playing NC State, we came back to a huddle and said we were trying to foul him, but he still scored.

Lorenzo Charles could seal you, throw his foot to a spot, then bull his way to that spot. There was little you could do about it. Strong.

I played barnstorming games with Lorenzo Charles, and he was a really fun guy to be around. He was quiet, but had a great smile and laugh.

Lorenzo Charles played with Bailey, Whittenburg, Lowe, McQueen, Terry Gannon, Spud Webb, Nate McMillan, among others. Outstanding teams.

It is so sad when a contemporary passes. I will remember Lorenzo Charles at his best. And, his best was better than most could ever dream.


49 Responses to Lorenzo Charles dies in tragedy on I40

  1. MrPlywood 06/27/2011 at 7:17 PM #

    Unbelievable. I will always remember where I was and who I was with when Lo made that play.

    My condolences to his family.

  2. ruffles31 06/27/2011 at 7:23 PM #

    Shocking. RIP Lorenzo.

  3. Wolf74 06/27/2011 at 7:24 PM #

    A terrible tragedy. One of my favorite Wolfpackers. May he rest in peace.

  4. coppertop 06/27/2011 at 7:32 PM #

    So sad to lose such an icon to NCSU and college basketball. He will be missed and thought of often.

  5. GoneFishin 06/27/2011 at 7:36 PM #

    terrible, terrible, terrible…

  6. rky 06/27/2011 at 7:42 PM #

    Sad news indeed. He will certainly not be forgotten by Wolfpack fans.

  7. Pack78 06/27/2011 at 7:44 PM #

    Just saw this reported on ESPN-shocking…will never forget his play in ’83-prayers and condolences to his family and friends…

  8. chris92heel 06/27/2011 at 7:44 PM #

    RIP. Responsible, in part, for some of the worst moments of my tar heel fandom (losses in Raleigh and ACCT in ’83 in particular).

  9. TruthBKnown Returns 06/27/2011 at 7:53 PM #

    So sad. RIP, Lorenzo. You will always hold a special place in our hearts.

  10. Gowolves 06/27/2011 at 8:00 PM #

    This is so sad. I remember he was quite and a beast. I can’t believe he is gone.

  11. tractor57 06/27/2011 at 8:03 PM #

    RIP Lo

  12. GAWolf 06/27/2011 at 8:03 PM #

    Thanks for participating, Chris92heel.

    It’s hard not to look at this and not think of the “curse.” Will it ever end?

  13. choppack1 06/27/2011 at 8:05 PM #

    Thoughts and prayers to Lo’s family and friends.

  14. tjfoose1 06/27/2011 at 8:08 PM #

    RIP Lo.

    I saw the work crews cleaning up the accident. The bus had a few windows broken, but didn’t look in that bad of shape.

    Sad, shocking news.

  15. TAEdisonHokie 06/27/2011 at 8:14 PM #

    Very sad. RIP Lorenzo Charles and prayers to his family.

    That was a heck of a game in 1983…here’s a trip down memory lane:

  16. blpack 06/27/2011 at 8:16 PM #

    Sad news. I hate to hear that. Prayers for the family.

  17. 87stategrad 06/27/2011 at 8:22 PM #

    One of my favorite players. Sad, very sad. He will never be forgotten by the Wolfpack.

  18. Wolfman 9806 06/27/2011 at 8:37 PM #

    Truly sad for a life to be cut short so young. For those of us younger alums, the 83′ team is nothing short of mythical. I would have loved to be a student during that era.

  19. BladenWolf 06/27/2011 at 8:41 PM #

    I’m saddened and shocked. Lo was not only a Wolfpack icon, but a nice humble gentleman off the court. Aside from creating the epicenter of March Madness with his monumental last second dunk to beat Phi Slamma Jamma, I recall the following seasons after the national championship…after Sidney, Thurl, Derek, and Cozell graduated…he carried the team… literally. He was a sheer beast under the basket and I don’t recall any ACC player that could stop him.
    Thank you for the memories Lorenzo. Rest in peace.

  20. BladenWolf 06/27/2011 at 8:50 PM #

    Wolfman 9806^^

    I was a freshman in 1983. Bumping into Lorenzo or Cozell or Sidney or Ernie on campus was normal and they were very accessible and cool guys.

    I stayed in Owen Dorm and vividly recall watching the championship game… in Room 201 with eight or ten guys around the TV… watching Lorenzo slam it in for the win. We all looked at each other… and listened to the campus erupt…

    That is a helluva way to start your college career! GO PACK!!

  21. NCSU84 06/27/2011 at 8:52 PM #

    I remember Lo from my 1982 philosophy class. He was a very quiet nice young man. From his height and size we all knew he was an athlete, but we had no idea he would become a legendary figure in Wolfpack sports. Rest in peace Lo, and say hello to Jimmy and Kay.

  22. TOBtime 06/27/2011 at 8:58 PM #

    Goodbye Lo.
    To even begin to describe how special you are to Wolfpack Nation will take a better wordsmith than me. Thank you for the awesome memories.

  23. Howler 06/27/2011 at 8:59 PM #

    Unbelievable. Brings a tear to my eye. He and V are surely sharing a big bear hug in heaven.

  24. Texpack 06/27/2011 at 9:18 PM #

    Sad. The greatest single moment in my life as a Wolfpack fan and certainly the greatest athletic memory of time time at State. RIP Lorenzo. My prayers go out for your family and friends.

  25. WV Wolf 06/27/2011 at 9:24 PM #

    This is such sad news. I was at Home Depot waiting for them to mix some paint and decided to check Twitter and read the news from Julius Hodge and was just stunned. I had driven past the bus on 40 just a few minutes earlier.

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