University of Cincinnati running back Chamoda Kennedy-Palmore was killed in a traffic accident on Thursday, the second such tragedy in just over a year for the Bearcats football program. No family should ever have to suffer even one such nightmare, and now it has happened again.
On Sept. 21, 2013, UC freshman offensive lineman Ben Flick was killed and two teammates, freshman receivers Mark Barr and Javon Harrison, were seriously injured in a car accident. The driver of the car, 18-year-old Miami student Sean VanDyne, died two days later from injuries sustained in the wreck.
The four young men were driving back from the Cincinnati-Miami University football game (played in Oxford) that Saturday evening when the car ran off the road.
Harrison was soon released from the hospital but Barr was hospitalized for nearly a month. Harrison and Barr remain on scholarship at UC but will no longer play football, for medical reasons.
And now, another tragedy. Kennedy-Palmore, a non-scholarship football player from Lakota East High School, was killed when a vehicle turned across two lanes of traffic and hit his motorcycle around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Cincinnati Police Department Spokesperson Tiffaney Hardy. Kennedy-Palmore was wearing a helmet and proper gear, UC spokesman Ryan Koslen said.
Kennedy-Palmore was 19.
UC coach Tommy Tuberville spoke about Kennedy-Palmore on his weekly radio show Thursday night.
“It’s a lesson to all of us,” Tuberville said. “Live every day and every minute. Hug who you love.”
What else can you say at these times? It had been such a fun week, with heavy buildup for the UC-Ohio State game in Columbus this coming Saturday. UC fans were talking about how their team was ready to upset the Buckeyes. OSU fans were equally as motivated about the program defending its long in-state winning streak.
UC said in a press release that kickoff is still scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday in Ohio Stadium. But the Bearcats won’t be the same for a while.
Last year, the Bearcats happened to have an open date on the Saturday after Flick died. For the next game two weeks later, the entire team wore Flick T-shirts and helmet decals bearing Flick’s jersey number for the game at South Florida. UC was favored but the Bearcats just weren’t themselves. South Florida won, in a 26-20 upset.
While no announcements have been made, UC surely will honor Kennedy-Palmore with some kind of uniform display and/or helmet decal. The Bearcats surely will dedicate the rest of the season to Kennedy-Palmore, whose prep coach Rick Haynes called him, “An awesome kid.”
Another awesome kid who has left us far too soon.