Tragic start of new school year for Lowndes Co. high school

LOWNDES CO., AL (WSFA) - For twin bothers Antwaun and Antonio Grant the death of a classmate and  dear friend hurts.

"It's surreal. He joked around a lot but he was intelligent," said Antonio Grant.

Deundre Rudolph was 16-years old, a junior at Central High School, penciled in as the star running back this fall for the Lions.

Rudolph died Monday morning when for some reason he lost control of his vehicle on Lowndes County Road 13 in Mosses..and crashed into a line of trees.

It happened just two and a half miles from school. Two other students were seriously injured but they're expected to recover. The injured students have been identified as 16-year old Solomon Sims and 15-year old Jamarcus Rush.

It happened around 6:30 Monday morning and the teens were on their way to school.

This isn't the first fatality on County Road 13. The county EMA director tells WSFA 12 News 5 people have died on the road in the last 5 years. Rudolph's death makes the 6th.

Some of those fatalities were due to driver error but Walter Hill says there's no question County Road 13 could use another resurfacing job and plans to push county leaders to do so.

At Central High principal Peggy Grant had the difficult job of announcing the sad news to some 280 students at the school Monday morning.

"It was devastating and I attempted to talk to them while holding back the tears," said Grant.

One school leader says the team was depending on Deundre Rudolph to help carry them this fall on the gridiron.

Now they're depending on each other to get through the first day.

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