Prom Night Tragedy: Promising Basketball Star Tobi Oyedeji Dies in Head-on Collision

Julie Ryan Evans
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casket with flowers
Flickr photo by It's JoJo
Tobi Oyedeji's parents got the call all parents dread when they send their children off on prom night -- their son had been in a head-on car accident. He was later pronounced dead.

The 18-year-old was a high school star headed to play for Texas A&M this fall. He was going to study engineering, and everyone was expecting big things from him.

"He was going to be a big part of our program," Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon told ESPN.com. "More than just basketball, his personality, his character, he would have helped us in so many ways. He was a great student. He epitomized the values we have here."

I don't care much about basketball, but reading the reports about this young man with all this potential and his family left behind leaves me reeling.

According to reports, Oyedeji was driving his friends home after prom. He dropped the final one off, dutifully called his parents, and then headed home. He never made it.

The fact that he was an only child makes it even worse, I think. Through five years of secondary infertility after my son was born, I ached for another child. Yes, for all the right reasons like giving him a sibling and because I love children, but also, truthfully, because I was so scared that if something, God forbid, were ever to happen to him, I'd be left childless again. My role as a parent would be completely stolen.

I certainly don't think any parent losing a child -- even if he has 11 siblings -- is any easier. But for me, knowing this family raised one spectacular young man and lost him with no warning is worse than anything I can imagine.

 

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