One Marshall player killed, three injured

Alyson Walls

(U-WIRE) HUNTINGTON, W.V. — One Marshall football player was killed and three others were injured Monday morning after a single-vehicle accident in Morehead, Ky.
Kentucky State Police Trooper Tim Gibbs said Kemba Bryant, 21, of Riverdale, Ga., was killed when a 1994 Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Juwuane R. Sandridge, 18, of Hagerstown Md., went out of control at about 9:23 a.m. on a bridge on Interstate 64 near exit 137 in Roan County.
Bryant was a junior linebacker who hadn’t had the chance to play a game at Marshall. He played two seasons at East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss., and he had a good showing in the recent Green-White Game where he had four tackles and caused a fumble. Sandridge was a redshirt freshman last year.
“The vehicle struck a guardrail and overturned several times,” Gibbs said. “It crossed both the east bound lanes and came to rest against the guardrail.”
Gibbs said Bryant, a passenger in the back seat, was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected about 21 feet from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sandridge and the other passengers, Maurice Hines, 20, of East Point, Ga., and Lamar Martin, 20, of Oak Hill, W.Va., suffered bruises, abrasions and other minor injuries, and were taken to St. Claire Medical Center.
Hines is a defensive back who recorded 30 tackles, including 24 solo, in 1997. He also returned five kickoffs for 144 yards and a team best 28.8 yards per return. Martin is junior linebacker who recorded six tackles, four of which were solo, in 1997.
Sandridge was listed in stable condition at the hospital Monday afternoon, and Hines and Martin were both treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Gibbs said he had no idea how fast the car was traveling or what factors could have contributed to the accident.
“Alcohol is not suspected at this time, but we are still investigating,” Gibbs said.
Gibbs said the vehicle was completely destroyed in the accident and all the windows were broken out, but three passengers were conscious when he arrived.
“They didn’t really know what had happened,” Gibbs said. “Two of the passengers were asleep when it happened.”
Morehead police, ambulance and Morehead Fire and Rescue also responded to the accident.
In a prepared statement, head coach Bob Pruett said, “Obviously I am in shock and disbelief. This is a tremendous blow to our football family.”
Defensive ends coach Mark Gail was equally distraught over the news. “You’re never prepared for something like this,” Gail said. “It’s not just a quote when we say we are a family here in the football program, so it affects us very deeply.”
Gail had nothing but praise for Bryant. “He always had a smile on his face and brightened up the room,” he said.
A memorial service for Bryant was held Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Marshall Campus Christian Center.