Stephen Bartolotta, 18, and Jacob Brown, 19, died after the team won the USA South title. A third victim, Rico Dunn, was also killed.
Stephen Bartolotta, 18, and Jacob Brown, 19, were killed in a two-car crash, over the weekend, on Georgia 109 near Paddle Wheel in Lagrange. The two freshmen baseball players from LaGrange College died in a car crash, hours after their team won a conference championship over the weekend. “I didn’t believe it until we came outside and saw everybody, all the students in the parking lot,” said Dana Lucas who is a junior football player at Lagrange College. “Woke up this morning, the president sent out the message, it was true,” Lucas told WSB-TV. “I was just like, life is too short."
Just three hours before the fatal crash, the LaGrange College baseball team defeated North Carolina Wesleyan College and won the conference title. The team advanced to the NCAA Division III national tournament.
LaGrange College President Dr. Susanna Baxter said in a news release on the team's website Sunday: I am deeply saddened to make you aware that we have suffered the loss of two students last night. Baseball players Stephen Bartolotta and Jacob Brown were both killed in a tragic car accident. Coming on the heels of the team's conference championship win yesterday, this news hits our baseball players especially hard. There simply are no words. As we all work to process this tragedy, please care for one another. Chaplain Adam Roberts is planning a gathering today in Dickson Assembly Room at 1:30 p.m. where we can be together in this horrible loss. Also, we will have trained faculty and staff on hand to meet with those of you who would like that support either individually or in groups after the gathering at 1:30. We will walk through this together as a campus family with God as our strength. Please support one another as the caring community that I know we are.
Lagrange College Director of Communications and Marketing Dean Hartman shared that the university as a whole is grieving the loss of two young lives who had so much more to offer. “I really think shell-shocked is probably the best word. It’s such a shock to the system, to go from winning the conference title here and then a few hours later losing two of your teammates,” Hartman said. Another victim who was also involved in the car crash was 24-year-old West Point resident Rico Dunn, who died later at a hospital, FOX 5 Atlanta reported. Dunn was reportedly celebrating his sister’s birthday before he was killed. “They [the family] would like for everyone to know that he was the epitome of love. He loved and adored his nieces, nephews, and family.”
His family described Dunn as someone who loved wildlife and animals. “A very caring person that would do anything for anyone, whether he knew how to do it or not - he would try,” family members wrote, reports WSB-TV.
A GoFundMe has been set up for Dunn here.