Local News

Franklinton High junior dies in wreck

Posted November 20, 2011

— A Franklinton High School junior and football player died early Sunday in a single-vehicle wreck about two miles from his home.

Rashad McKnight, 17, stayed out late with friends and called around midnight Saturday to say he was coming home, his stepfather Tim Coley said.

"He never came, so about 1 o'clock, I put on my clothes on, and I went to look for him. I found him up the street," Coley said.

He discovered McKnight's 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse shattered at the foot of a tree along Gordon Moore Road. McKnight had been thrown from the car.

"I was the first one there," Coley said. "I checked his pulse. He was under the car. He was dead."

Coley called 911 but couldn't think straight, he said. A passing motorist stopped to help him.

State troopers said that McKnight, who wasn't wearing a seat belt, was speeding, lost control on a curve and ran off the left side of the road, striking a tree and spinning around it. Troopers said alcohol was not involved.

McKnight played football as a lineman for the Franklinton High Red Rams. He wore jersey No. 63. This year, his team made it to the state playoffs with a 10-3 record, one of the best for the school in years.

McKnight was just starting to look at college and planning his career, Coley said.

"He was into fast cars and building motors. He said he wanted to go to school to be a mechanic," he said.

Coley said the loss of McKnight is a hard blow for his family.

"He was a good kid," Coley said. "I wasn't his biological father, but I loved him like he was my own."


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  • joannanelson567 Nov 22, 2011

    I have friends that go to FHS. I just want to say keep your heads up. It might be hard but he's in a better place now. Stay strong for his family....and him. I will keep you all in my prayers

  • iloveyou Nov 21, 2011

    In school today there was dead silence it hurt walking down the halls seeing all the people with tears in their eyes, it hurt and im not sure school will ever be the same, he died to young...I go to FHS and yes we red rams stick together we will hang in there R.I.P

  • gagal Nov 21, 2011

    the school just wasn't the same today......I don't know if it ever will be again....

  • Country Girlz Have MORE fun Nov 21, 2011

    I can not imagine what this father felt when he came up to his son's wrecked car. I can not imagine the pain that ran through his heart when he realized his child had no pulse. We worry about our children, it is our jobs. That is why this man went looking for his son. No parent should have to experience this pain. No child's life should be cut so short.

    Kids please remember your friend and all that was lost in this moment due to speeding. A family lost, you lost, his future is gone...please remember how short life can be.

  • 007KnightRider Nov 21, 2011

    So sad. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  • tmmiller89 Nov 21, 2011

    Lets us see just how fragile life is! This very handsome young man had not even began to fulfil his dreams and purpose in life! A relationship with God is so very important in our lives, childrens lives, and our country! May God bless and comfort his loved ones always! Faith is not seeing but believing that this young mans soul is in heaven and that even something so sad to us can bring blessings to those that trust in the LORD and not lean on our own understanding!

  • sinenomine Nov 21, 2011

    Extremely sad situation, as are all cases like this.

    If I could say one thing to the family it would be something like this: Don't ask God why your son/grandson/brother/step-son or whatever had to die. We all have to die. Ask instead why he had to live.

  • leecountymama Nov 21, 2011

    I think with the families approval of course, law enforcement should have one big ceremony remembering these kids who are involved in fatal accidents and then show them the wreck pictures. Show them what happened to those kids. Nothing else can make an impact like that. You can tell them forever to do the right thing....kinda like a scared straight program?

  • u stand corrected Nov 21, 2011

    SO sad. Special place in Heaven for this young man. Prayers for the family.

  • bombayrunner Nov 21, 2011

    boyz n their toys. sounded like a good kid. RIP ... while a tragedy at least he was liked and known as someone good and special. God probably has a good place for him.