Ole Miss lineman killed in crash
The Ole Miss football family is in mourning after offensive lineman Park Stevens died, when his truck hit the back of a semi as it was trying to cross a four-lane highway.
The Highway Patrol said in a statement Thursday that 20-year-old Park Stevens of Columbus was killed when his pickup collided with the rear of an 18-wheeler at Egypt Road and U.S. Highway 45A around 3 p.m. Wednesday. Stevens was pronounced dead at the scene.
The patrol says the accident is under investigation.
The news first broke Wednesday, when Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze posted a statement to Twitter:
Our Rebel family and team are so saddened at the loss of one of our teammates, Park Stevens. May God be with his family and our team— Hugh Freeze (@CoachHughFreeze) July 4, 2013
"Our team is hurting tonight with the loss of Park," Freeze said in an official statement Wednesday night. "He was a tremendous young man that was loved by his teammates and coaches, and Rebel Nation will never forget him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Stevens' family, his friends, our team and all those he touched during his life."
Freeze also said Thursday via Twitter that the visitation and funeral are scheduled for Saturday.
Stevens, a 6-foot-6, 351-pound sophomore, joined the Rebels in the spring as a walk-on after transferring from East Central Community College.
Teammates were reacting throughout the night Wednesday and into Thursday.
"Im gonna miss you buddy. You were an awesome roommate and an even better friend. I know you're there watching me. Love you," redshirt freshman offensive lineman Robert Conyers tweeted.
Denzel Nkemdiche, a linebacker and brother of the prized Ole Miss recruit Robert Nkemdiche, had this to say:
Park watch over us this year! Humble man taken early ! Love to the Stevens family!— Denzel Nkemdiche (@denzelnkemdiche) July 4, 2013
Laquon Treadwell, a wide receiver and one of Ole Miss' top incoming recruits, also sent a heartfelt message and changed his Twitter avatar to feature a photo of Stevens:
RebelNation lets send our thoughts and prayers out to Park Stevens family. My teammate, my brother, my family, gone but not forgotten. 1love— Laquon Treadwell (@SuccessfulQuon) July 4, 2013
Stevens' father, Dean, took the reins of his son's own Twitter account to thank supporters and give information.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.