An 18-year old South Mountain High School student and football player died after he was thrown from a vehicle during a two-car crash on Tuesday afternoon, according to officials.
Phoenix police confirmed Edward Crocker was killed in the crash, which occurred about 12:30 p.m., near Broadway Road and Ninth Street in Phoenix, said Sgt. Maggie Cox, a spokeswoman for Phoenix police.
Police said a 2006 Nissan Altima driven by a 19-year-old man with two 18-year-old male passengers lost control while traveling west on Broadway Road. The car then drove into the eastbound lanes and hit a pickup truck driven by a 58-year-old man.
One passenger, who police identified as Crocker, was thrown from the car during the crash and died at the scene, police said. Both drivers and the other 18-year-old passenger were hospitalized in serious but non-life-threatening conditions, Cox said.
Crocker was a senior at South Mountain High School, where he played football, said Mark Carter, former South Mountain co-head football coach along with his brother, Marcus Carter.
“He was our slot wide receiver (in 2019). Great young man with a super-positive, infectious personality. Came to us his junior year. He’s from Watts, California, and when he introduced himself to us, he said his name is Edward,’’ Mark Carter told The Republic.
“Marcus said, ‘We’re not calling you Edward. We’re just going to call you ‘LA.’”
Mark Carter, who now coaches with his brother at Goodyear Desert Edge, said Crocker was “very instrumental in our rebuild at South. He had the most TDs over 60 yards at our time at South. Super caring and just loved his teammates and coaches. He will be missed. I still haven’t fully processed it.”
Crocker was part of the South Mountain team documented by azcentral.com in a 2019 season-long series called, “Beyond the Gridiron: The Mountain.”
In 2020, the Phoenix Union High School District had a shortened season because of COVID-19. Crocker had 11 catches for 108 yards and three touchdowns in the three games South Mountain played.
Mark Carter posted on his Facebook page about Crocker’s death, it read in part:
“LA, I love you. My heart hurts for you, your family, and your friends. I thanked God this morning that I was blessed to see you, hug you, and tell you how much I care for you this past Saturday. Your legacy is cemented in my life and in the very fabric of the South Mountain Football as you were a vital part of the return to glory for the Jaguars. You are a champion!“
Marcus Carter also posted about Crocker’s death on his Facebook page:
“The world lost an amazing young man yesterday. I just saw you on Saturday. Gave you a hug and laughed about how tired we were from this track season. I remember giving you the Name L.A. … Until we meet again little bro. It was an honor and a pleasure to be apart of your life.”
Impairment was not a factor, but speed was, Cox said.
Charges are pending further investigation, according to Cox.
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