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Members of the Southern University “Human Jukebox” pose for the camera in the middle of their performance during the 45th annual State Farm Bayou Classic game between the Southern Jaguars and the Grambling State Tigers on November 24, 2018, at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in New Orleans, Louisiana. | Source: Icon Sportswire / Getty

The tragic deaths of members of a marching band at one of the most iconic historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have prompted an outpouring of tributes and condolences.

Three members of Southern University and A&M College‘s famed Human Jukebox marching band were killed Tuesday night after a vehicle they were traveling in collided with a tractor-trailer on a highway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, not far from campus.

From WDSU:

Those killed were identified as Tyran Williams, 19, Dylan Young, 19, and Broderick Moore, 19.

Troopers say the students’ 1999 Jeep Laredo was stalled on the shoulder of the interstate while two of them were trying to change a tire.

According to state police, a tractor-trailer driven by Clyde Gay, of Coushatta, drifted into the shoulder, hitting the Jeep.

Police have launched an investigation into the fatal crash. Gay, the 62-year-old driver, submitted to a toxicology test for which results are pending. It was not immediately clear if any criminal charges would be brought as a result of the deadly accident.

But in the meantime, the Southern University and larger HBCU communities were mourning the sad loss of young Black lives.

“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of the tragic deaths of three of our students who reportedly succumbed to injuries in a vehicular accident on Tuesday evening in Natchitoches Parish,” Southern University said in a statement. “Our thoughts are with their families, friends, classmates and other loved ones. All three young men were members of the Southern University Human Jukebox Marching Band, to which we also extend our condolences.”

Southern University also said it was making resources available for students experiencing the “devastating” and “sudden loss of a classmate or friend.”

Gov. John Bel Edwards also offered his condolences.

“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,” Edwards tweeted on Wednesday.

The Human Jukebox is nationally recognized, having been ranked by the NCAA just last year as the second-best college marching band in the U.S. behind only Ohio State University. In September, ESPN speculated that the Human Jukebox was the “main attraction” of a highly anticipated matchup between Southern and University of Georgia football teams.

The sad news comes months after a Southern University cheerleader died by suicide following a heartbreaking note she posted on social media.

Arlana Miller, a 19-year-old freshman at Southern last school year, suggested in a troubling Instagram post that she was frustrated about the struggles she had recently endured, including contracting COVID-19 and “failing all” of her classes.

NewsOne also sends condolences to the Southern University community.


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