Demetrius Owens, 19, of Lafayette County was killed Friday morning when the car he was a passenger in overturned, throwing him out of the vehicle. Funeral arrangements are incomplete with Hodges-Freeman Funeral Home of Oxford.Lafayette County Coroner Rocky Kennedy said the 5-foot-8, 307-pound Owens was pronounced dead at about 10 a.m. Friday at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi.
Owens, a recent Lafayette High School graduate and former Commodores’ defensive lineman, was traveling on Highway 6 East with his mother and younger brother when the car suffered a rear tire blowout, causing the car to spin out of control and roll over. Owens was ejected from the vehicle. He was not wearing a seat belt.
His mother and brother were treated at the hospital for non-life threatening injuries, according to Kennedy, who described Owens as “a real special young man.”
Owens helped lead the Commodores to the Class 4A state title and a perfect 16-0 record in 2010. His coach, Anthony Hart, said Owens was a joy to coach.
“In all my years of coaching, I have never been around a kid that was as easy to coach and easy to be around as Demetrius was,” Hart said Friday afternoon. “Demetrius was a special, special kid who always had a smile on his face. He was just a special young man. This is the second loss we’ve had in the last couple of weeks. We’re all kind of in shock over it all.”
Owens was the second recent former LHS player to have passed away this year. Chris Gipson, the 2007 EAGLE Co-Player of the Year, died May 3 at the age of 22.
Hart said he last saw Owens walking across the stage at Lafayette’s graduation ceremony held at C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum on May 20. Owens was a member of Hart’s first full senior classes at LHS having coaching him since he was in 7th grade. Hart said Owens was planning to attend Northwest Mississippi Community College in the fall.
(Sports Editor John Davis contributed to this story). (May 27, 2011)