Student killed in Monday morning accident

Published 3:15 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2011

MOSSES — The first day of school in Lowndes County got off to a tragic start Monday as a 16-year-old Central High School student was killed and two other students injured in a one-vehicle accident near Mosses.

According to Alabama State Troopers, the accident occurred at about 6:20 a.m. about one mile west of Mosses on Lowndes County Road 13. Troopers reported Deundre D. Rudolph, 16, of Tyler, was killed when the 1995 Saturn SL2 he was driving left the roadway and struck several trees.

According to authorities, Rudolph, who was driving was not licensed to operate a motor vehicle and was not wearing a seat belt, was a junior at Central High School.

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Tyler residents Solomon Sims, 16, and Jamarcus Rush, 15, were passengers in the vehicle.

The two other passengers, who were reportedly also not wearing seat belts, were injured and transported to Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery. No information was available on their conditions.

Lowndes County Emergency Management Director Walter S. Hill said all three were students at Central High School on their way to school for the first day of classes.

“It’s been really, really difficult. Deundre (Rudolph) was a great student, an outstanding young man, a member of the football team,” Central High School principal Peggy Grant said.

She said whenever the school had computer issues, “He could fix anything.” She said he had already passed each part of the Alabama High School graduation exam and had earned membership as a Golden Ambassador for that accomplishment in the 10th grade.

Grant said counselors were brought into the school for grief counseling with the help of Luke Taylor, director of special projects for Lowndes County Schools.

“I think we’ve got everything calmed down,” Grant said.

Monday afternoon, classmates, teammates and coaches were still coming to grips with the tragedy.

“He was one of the master minds of our team,” Central High School assistant football coach James Bibb said. “He was valuable on and off the field.”

Head coach Keith Scissum agreed.

“He was a good kid,” Scissum, who is also the school’s assistant principal, said. “It’s a devastating loss.”

Hill said Life Flight, Care Ambulance and volunteer fire departments from Hayneville, Mosses and Collirene responded to help with traffic and medical assistance.

Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams and chief deputy Jamie Martin, Lowndes County superintendent of education Dr. Daniel Boyd, assistant superintendent Jason Burroughs, Grant and Scissum were all at the scene, Hill said.

Lowndes County Coroner Doris Bean Alexander said Rudolph was pronounced dead at 7:34 a.m.

Troopers said the circumstances of the accident remain under investigation.