Ole Miss sophomore offensive lineman Park Stevens died Wednesday afternoon in a car accident in Chickasaw County, Miss.
“Our team is hurting tonight with the loss of Park,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said in a 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.”
Stevens joined the Rebels in the spring of 2013 as a walk-on, transferring to Ole Miss after spending two seasons at East Central Community College.
“I hate to talk in the past tense, because it hasn’t sunk in yet. Park had such a magnetic personality. He didn’t meet a stranger,” former East Central Community College coach Brian Anderson said. “He was just an outstanding young man. He just had personality for days.”
Stevens, a general studies major who was 6-6, 351, was 20 years old. News of his death and condolences quickly spread via social media.
“I’m gonna miss you buddy. You were an awesome roommate and an even better friend. I know you’re there watching me. Love you,” Ole Miss redshirt freshman offensive lineman Robert Conyers said via Twitter.
“One of my former players just passed away. I just can’t. I just talked to him (Tuesday) morning. This can’t be real,” East Central Community College assistant football coach Donovan Tate said via Twitter.
Though he did not identify the Ole Miss player, Mississippi Highway Patrol Cpl. Chris Turnipseed told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that Stevens truck ran into the back of a semi that was trying to cross a four-lane highway.
“The driver of the pickup was killed on impact ... “ Turnipseed told the Journal.
The wreck still is under investigation by Mississippi Highway Patrol.
Michael Bonner also writes for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, a Gannett company.
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