Riverdale High football star loses mother in tragic I-65 crash

D’Andre Litaker (Photo: Submitted)
D’Andre Litaker (Photo: Submitted)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Murfreesboro mother died in a horrific head-on collision in Williamson County after her car veered into the on-coming lane of traffic on Interstate 65.

Stephanie Coleman, 42, died in the Tuesday crash near State Route 840 after the Tennessee Highway Patrol says she hit an SUV head-on.

Her 13-year-old daughter, who was in the car with her at the time, and the driver of the other vehicle, Brooks Baker Jr. of Coming, New York., were both injured but survived.

It was devastating news to Coleman’s family and co-workers.

Stephanie Coleman (Photo: Submitted)
Stephanie Coleman (Photo: Submitted)

“It was just hard to believe. Knowing that I missed a call from her yesterday and I didn’t get to return her call,” co-worker Olympia Benford said.

Coleman was also the mother of highly recruited star football player at Riverdale High School, D’Andre Litaker.

The teen, No. 99, is a defensive linebacker and sought after by nearly every major college.

“He’s got every school in the country looking for him,” head football coach Will Kriesky said. “They all come over all over the country. You got Nebraska, you got Tennessee, you got Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia… every SEC school.”

Kriesky said D’Andre is doing about as well as expected.

“It is really sad,” the coach said. “D’Andre and his mother were really close. They spend a lot of time together and he was really a mentor and role mother and he really loves his mom.”

Riverdale High School
(Photo: WKRN)

Coach Kriesky called a team meeting Wednesday morning, and many players went to visit their teammate.

“To spend some time with D’Andre to try and help him out during this difficult time,” he said. “When one hurts, we all hurt.”

Kriesky said the football player’s mother was one of his biggest fans.

“It’s tough on any kid, junior in high school with the loss of their mother,” he told News 2. “You know she was very influential during this whole recruiting process and she wanted to watch her son play college football.”

Those who know Coleman say she will be deeply missed.

“Looking at the sun right now her beautiful smile, I know that she’s smiling down on us. She always had a way to make us laugh,” Benford said. “She spoke highly of her kids and grandchild.

Friends have set up a crowd funding account to help Coleman’s children in the loss of their mother. Click here to check it out.