Albert “Spud” Dock’s mother, Tamara Dock, was surrounded by family and friends when the Courier sat down with her Tuesday afternoon. Still devastated by the loss of her son, she nevertheless shared how her son touched many lives.
“My son Spud was the light and was so amazing,” Dock said. “He had the most infectious, biggest, and most beautiful smile.”
On Jan. 26, Albert “Spud” Dock was tragically killed in an early morning accident on East Oglethorpe Highway in Midway. Around 2:30 a.m., Spud and two other students, David Jackson and Devin Merchant, were traveling in an Acura SUV when they were rear ended by Antoine McLendon.
McLendon was allegedly drunk and driving at a triple digit speed in a 2013 Hyundai Genesis. All three passengers in the Acura were transported to the hospital. It was there Spud’s mother learned her son had died.
“It was about 3 a.m. when I got the call from Devin’s dad that the boys had been in a bad accident and Spud was hurt the worst and he was sorry,” Dock said. “At the hospital they led me into this room and the doctor came in and he was saying, just like you would see it on TV, he was like, ‘I’m sorry we did everything but Spud didn’t make it.’”
According to Dock, Spud, Jackson, and Merchant‘s friendship started long before high school. Jackson and Spud grew up playing recreational sports together. Merchant and Spud formed a friendship when they were in diapers. As Dock put it, they were “brothers for life.”
On the night of the accident, the three students were leaving another player’s house after celebrating Spud’s winning performance at the Liberty County High School vs. Brantley County High School basketball game. The game went into overtime and Spud hit the winning shot to beat BCHS.
“He had 15 points, a double-double, and two clutch free throws to win the game,” Dock said. “He played hard like it was his last game, like he knew.”
Dock said Spud had aspirations to attend college at the University of Georgia and how his positivity and outlook on life is part of the reason the community has come together after his death.
“From a lot of the messages I’ve been reading, they’re saying that he was an encourager and encouraged a lot of kids,” Dock said. “It seems that everyone he came in contact with, he touched them in some sort of way.”
Since the accident, Jackson and Merchant have been released from the hospital and are recovering at home, according to Dock. McLendon remains in custody at the Liberty County Jail without bond. He has been charged with felony murder, homicide by vehicle in 1st degree, amongst other serious traffic violations.
As for Dock, she plans on attending McLendon’s court proceedings and advocating against drunk driving.
“They were celebrating after the game, just being teenage boys and were headed home,” Dock said. “My baby, his dream was to make it and for the world to know his name, and I just want the world to know his name, Albert ‘Spud’ Dock, long live Spud.”
The family of Albert "Spud" Dock has a GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral expenses. You can donate at www.gofundme.com/homegoing-for-albert-spud-dock.