NEW HOPE, Miss. (WCBI)-While some are celebrating July 4th today others throughout our viewing area are mourning the loss of an Ole Miss football player.
Heartbroken is understatement for many today as they remember the life of Park Stevens.
I spoke with some of those who knew him best about the legacy he leaves behind.
Shock, disbelief, the first thing that I thought was no this can’t be true this is a mistake,” says Michael Bradley.
“I didn’t want to believe it. I still don’t want to believe it. I just feel like he’s still on his way home,” says Haley Tutor.
Ole Miss offensive lineman Park Stevens was on his way home to Columbus Wednesday afternoon when he was involved in a car wreck that took his life.
It wasn’t long before the news spread across social media with friends and family sending their thoughts and prayers out to his family.
A long-time friend Haley Tutor remembers the first time she meet Stevens in the second grade.
“He came up to me and he wanted to be my best friend and he was like hey, I was in this Aaron Carter video and he said yeah. I was behind the couch in Aaron’s party video and that was me, Will you be my best friend. And I believed him and we became best friends ever since,” says Tutor.
“He is one of those people you live by the day I mean he showed us all that and I’m glad that he did live by the day because if not then there would be lot of regrets in life,” says Anna Mccrary.
Liza Miley, who was Park’s former teacher and close friend remembers when her daughter told her the tragic news.
“When she came back in my room to tell me she couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t believe it. Our entire family loved Park all of my children loved him and knew he loved them. SO it was probably the most emotional moment we’ve ever experienced as a family,” says Liza Miley.
Miley says Stevens impacted her life in more ways than one. Even persuading a die-hard bulldog fan like her self.
“It’s okay to laugh at the little things. But for the first time everybody in our house we’re saying Hotty Totty and wearing the T-shirt that he brought us and he even brought my son a football so above anything that it’s okay you don’t have to be closed minded and just limit your love to one thing,” says Miley.
“He had a compassion and love for other people and he knew that he was very lucky to have the family that loved him and he was willing to share that with others,” says Bradley.
Former Head football coach Michael Bradley remembers Steven’s character on and off the football field.
“More importantly he was a representative of Jesus Christ and how humans are suppose to treat one another. It’s hard letting go of someone like that,” says Bradley.
“I love Park and I’m going to miss him,” says Jackson Grady.
Visitation will be held at Mount Vernon Church on Saturday, July 6 at 11 a.m. and the service will follow at 1:30 p.m. at the church.