Southern University marching band members die after being hit by 18-wheeler

Dylan Young, Brody Moore and Tyran Williams, en route to Texas for Christmas break, were struck changing a tire after their Jeep caught a flat.

Three students of the Human Jukebox Marching Band died in an accident involving an 18-wheeler Tuesday night, leaving the campus of Southern University in mourning.

According to WBRZ News, Dylan Young, Brody Moore and Tyran Williams were traveling from the Louisiana school to their home state of Texas for Christmas break, northbound on I-49, when they caught a flat tire. Louisiana State Police said a tractor-trailer driven by Clyde Gay struck the students’ 1999 Jeep Laredo while it was parked on the side of the road north of the Natchitoches area.

The students were attempting to change their vehicle’s flat tire when Gay’s tractor-trailer drifted onto the shoulder, hit the Jeep’s left side and them, CBS reported. All three were pronounced dead at the scene.

Southern University Human Jukebox Marching Band
The Southern University marching band, the Human Jukebox, is seen Dec. 3, before the game between the Southern University Jaguars and Jackson State Tigers at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi. Three members of the band were killed this week in a highway crash. (Photo: Justin Ford/Getty Images)

One of the students was reportedly talking on the phone when the crash occurred, and the person on the other end of the line contacted authorities.

CBS News reported that Moore, 19, was from Cedar Hill, and Young and Williams, 21 and 19 respectively, were from Dallas.

According to Louisiana State Police, the accident remains under investigation. They noted that Gay, 62, the driver of a 1997 Freightliner, was unharmed, and officials will perform laboratory testing to look for impairments.

“They were very humble,” SU band director Kedric Taylor told WBRZ Wednesday of Moore, Williams and Young. “I talked to some of them yesterday and told them have a safe trip.”

“I’m just thankful for knowing them,” he added, “and having them in my life.”

According to CBS, two of the students were tuba players and one was a percussionist.

SU president Dennis Shields issued a statement expressing his condolences to the students’ families, friends, classmates and other loved ones, including the marching band, WBRZ reported.

“Southern University students, I know that the sudden loss of a classmate or friend can be devastating,” Shields said, according to WBRZ. “I encourage you to reach out to someone you trust to talk about your feelings.”

John Bel Edwards, the governor of Louisiana, also expressed his sympathies.

“We join the Southern University family and especially the Human Jukebox Marching Band in mourning the deep loss of the three students whose lives were tragically cut short after yesterday’s accident,” he shared via Twitter, CBS reported.

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!