Bellaire students mourn death of basketball player

May 17, 2010 4:13:52 PM PDT
Students at Bellaire High School are in mourning as they learn of the death of a popular student and basketball star. Tobi Oyedeji was one of two people killed in a three-car accident in southwest Houston early Sunday morning. The number 35 was clearly seen around campus Monday, a familiar number on the Bellaire High School basketball court; a number that will now be retired out of respect for the young man who wore it.

"He made anybody feel special," said student Briyanna Alexander. "It's sad he had to leave so soon."

Alexander, like so many of her classmates, is struggling to understand why Oyedeji died.

He was killed in a traffic accident early Saturday morning along Highway 90 in southwest Houston. He'd just left the school-sanctioned after-prom party. Even though the school provided transportation, Oyedeji decided to drive his parent's car. He'd just gotten his driver's license three months ago.

At the prom, his coach says Oyedeji was the center of attention.

"He's 6'9", so the first person I saw on the dance floor was Tobi," said Bellaire Basketball Coach Bruce Glover. "And it's like the life of the party centered around Tobi. He was the life of the party. When he smiled, the room really did light up. I walked up to him and hugged him."

Authorities are not sure why the accident happened. According to reports, Oyedeji somehow veered his Toyota Avalon out of its lane, over the median and crashing head first into on oncoming jeep driven by 52-year-old Gertha Augustin, an oncology nurse on her way to work at MD Anderson hospital.

On Monday, we found students praying for both victims and remembering a young man who always smiled.

"He was amazing person," student Nick Precio said. "He was always making everyone laugh and always had a smile on his face."

We spoke with Augustin's daughter on Monday. She told us Augustin is survived by two children and three grandchildren and that she loved being a nurse.

Houston police are waiting for results of the autopsy before determining the cause of death.


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