3 Southern University marching band members fatally struck by 18-wheeler while changing a tire

A university spokesman confirmed Wednesday that three members of Southern University’s marching band, known as the Human Jukebox, were killed in an accident with an 18-wheeler. Police said the victims were trying to change a flat tire when they were hit by the truck.

Louisiana State Police Master Trooper Casey Wallace told news outlets that a two-vehicle crash occurred in the Natchitoches area on Tuesday night and confirmed that three people died in the collision. State police on Wednesday identified the victims as Broderick Moore, 19, of Cedar Hill, Texas; Tyrann Williams, 19, of Dallas; and Dylan Young, 21, also of Dallas.

Southern University’s director of bands, Cedric Taylor, said that two of the students were tuba players, the other a percussionist.

Posted by Southern University Marching Band on Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office described the collision as a “major accident”. The sheriff’s office said the incident occurred on the northbound side of I-49 near the village of Powhatan at around 7:40 p.m.

State police said the students were in a jeep that had stopped on the shoulder of the interstate northbound. They were attempting to change a flat tire when the tractor-trailer veered onto the shoulder, left side of the jeep and struck the victims, who were pronounced dead.

Investigators said the driver of the truck, a 62-year-old man, was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured. State police said routine toxicology tests are pending as the accident investigation continues.

Zion Wilson, a University of the Southern graduate who played in the marching band with Young, told CBS affiliate WAFB-TV he was at a loss for words.

“It’s like losing a real brother at the end of the day,” he told the station.

Southern University President-Chancellor Dennis Shields expressed condolences to the families and friends of the victims, as well as the school community.

“I know the sudden loss of a classmate or friend can be devastating,” he said in a statement. “I encourage you to reach out to someone you trust to talk about your feelings. Know that the University Counseling Center is also here to help you.”

WAFB reported that LSU President Dennis Shields sent a message to staff, students and families at the university, sharing his condolences.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards also expressed his condolences on social media.

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