Father killed in football team bus crash was headed to 1st game
Posted September 18
Rockingham, N.C. — Two people remained in critical condition Sunday after a deadly bus crash that killed the driver as well as a 10-year-old and two Clinton College students.
Devonte Gibson was known to everyone as “Gibby” and always had a smile on his face. Born and raised in Michigan, the 21-year-old dad was known to be laid back and love a good laugh.
For his grandmother in Michigan, it’s hard to believe her baby was on the charter bus when it crashed Saturday on Interstate 74 in Richmond County.
A preliminary investigation by the State Highway Patrol found that the bus's front left tire blew out, sending it swerving into the median guardrail sideswiping a concrete bridge column.
The bus was headed to Fayetteville and inside was a team from Ramah Jucco Academy, a football program for High School graduates from the Rock Hill, S.C. area.
Devonte Gibson, a wide receiver, had recently joined the team.
“This was his first game that he never got to play,” Gibson’s grandmother, Priscilla Gibson said. “He was feeling excited playing again; he was anxious.”
Joining the football team was part of a new life plan for Devonte Gibson. He had returned to college and hoped to try to play football professionally.
“[He wanted to] go back to school, make a better life for himself, take care of his child and, like he told me, take care of everybody,” Priscilla Gibson said.
Devonte Gibson’s brother, Kevin Gibson, said Devonte Gibson was the father of a 2-year-old girl.
“He loved his daughter with all his heart. All he wanted to do was give her and my mom a better life. He loved his family and he will forever live on through all of us,” Kevin Gibson said.
The final time Devonte Gibson and his grandmother spoke was on Facebook, where she told her grandson that she was proud of him.
More than 40 people were injured in the crash, 22 of whom had been released from area hospitals as of Sunday afternoon. Brian Kirkpatrick, 43, Darice Hicks, 10, of South Carolina, and Tito Hamilton, 19, of Florida were also killed in the crash.