A student athlete that always gave 100 percent on the basketball court died in a car wreck early Saturday morning on East Oglethorpe Highway in Midway. The driver that hit the car that claimed the life of one student and injured two others was allegedly driving drunk.
Local teens attended a vigil at 2 p.m. Sunday for Albert Dock, 18, the Liberty County High School student and rising basketball player killed in the accident. Friends of the victim said the vigil was held at a basketball court near the Liberty County Recreation Department to celebrate Dock’s life. The court has been used by countless community members over the years.
“I still can’t believe it,” said Marqui Anderson, a friend of the young accident victim. Anderson said Dock was “like a little brother” to him. Dock, nicknamed “Spud,” was “a good kid,” according to Anderson. “He was always smiling, always happy. He wouldn’t harm anyone. He was a family man. He was a good student. He was a very good athlete. It’s just sad that he’s gone.”
When asked how he was coping with this friend’s death, Anderson said he was hurting, along with the whole community. “I’m just at a loss for words,” he said.
Anderson said he learned about the accident around 5 a.m. Saturday, when his brother came into his room to wake him and tell him Spud “was gone.”
“At first I couldn’t believe it,” Anderson said. He said the reality of his friend’s death hit him after he got on social media and saw a heartbreaking post from Dock’s mother and multiple posts from mutual friends. “It’s devastating,” he said, knowing his friend died because of a drunk driver.
Anderson offered a public plea, asking people not to drive drunk. He suggested someone sober take the keys or that party-goers take an Uber.
“You could be out having fun one minute and the next be in the hospital or worse,” Anderson said.
The two other students in the car with Dock were David Jackson, 18, and Devin Merchant. Jackson was reportedly driving the Acura SUV that was allegedly rear ended by 22-year old Antoine McLendon, who was driving a 2013 Hyundai Genesis. Jackson and Merchant were transported to a local area hospital where their injuries are unknown.
McLendon has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, murder, failure to maintain lane, following too closely, speeding in excess of maximum limits, reckless driving, serious injury by vehicle and homicide by vehicle in 1st degree-felony.
According to Georgia State Patrol Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team Trooper Shane Copeland, the impact caused the Acura to flip into a ditch.
The Courier will follow this story as it develops. Video of the vigil and accident scene will be posted online this week.