High school football star killed by freight train hours after announcing enrolment in Georgia Tech on scholarship
Bryce Gowdy, 17, was killed in the early hours of Monday, not long after he had expressed excitement about going to college.
DEERFIELD BEACH, FLORIDA: A 17-year-old football player has died after he was hit by a freight train, hours after he had taken to social media to post about his excitement about going to a Division I school on a scholarship.
Bryce Gowdy, a wide receiver who had helped his Deerfield Beach High School football team reach the state semifinals this and become a four-star recruit, was fatally struck by the train in the area of Southeast Fourth Avenue and Southeast 10th Street at 4 am on Monday, December 30.
Just a few hours before, at 8 pm on Sunday, he had taken to Twitter and posted a picture of himself in his football kit and posing with his family with the caption, "Family matters, can't wait to get to the ATL soon!"
He was set to enroll at Georgia Tech on his scholarship and start just a week later, on January 6, with his uncle Thomas Gowdy revealing to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the teen had been nervous about moving to Atlanta because his family was in an "unstable environment."
"He was a little stressed having the weight of the world on his shoulders by going [to a Division I school], and having to leave his two younger brothers and his family in an unstable environment," he said.
"As much as he's dealt with, to get a full-ride -- that's unbelievable for where he's from. People from the urban environment don’t normally make it like he did."
While the details of the events leading up to his death are still unclear, Yellow Jackets coach Geoff Collins paid tribute to the 17-year-old and said the entire Georgia Tech football family was devastated over his passing.
"Bryce was an outstanding young man with a very bright future," he said in a statement posted on Twitter. "On behalf of our coaches, players, staff, and families, we offer our deepest condolences to Bryce's mother, Shibbon, and his brothers, Brisai and Brayden, as well as the rest of his family members, his teammates and coaches at Deerfield Beach High School, and his many friends. Bryce and his family will always be a part of the Georgia Tech football family."
"He said he was gonna be famous. He wanted to be famous," Thomas Gowdy said. "This is just tragic that this has happened."
Gowdy's family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise donations to cover the cost of his funeral services where they wrote, "It is with great sadness that the family of Bryce Gowdy confirms that he has passed away. We are overwhelmed with the support and care everyone has shown as his spirit still lives within everyone he has touched."
The page has raised close to $14,000 of a possible $20,000 goal at the time of writing.