MO State HS Sports
UPDATE: Rock Bridge students and staff will have extra counselors on Monday, following deadly crash

UPDATE: Rock Bridge students and staff will have extra counselors on Monday, following deadly crash

Rock Bridge football player Evan Avery died in Friday night’s car crash in Columbia. Rock Bridge football coach Matt Perkins helped organize Saturday evening’s vigil on the Bruin football field to mourn Evan’s loss (May 6, 2023 photo courtesy of Rock Bridge football coach Matt Perkins’ Twitter page)

Columbia’s Rock Bridge high school will have extra counselors on-hand Monday, following Friday night’s horrific traffic crash that killed a freshman football player.

Rock Bridge football coach Matt Perkins says Evan Avery will be in their hearts forever.

CPS’ Michelle Baumstark tells 939 the Eagle that Rock Bridge will have counselors available for any students or staff members who need additional support.

More than 100 people attended Saturday evening’s vigil at the Bruin football field, where green and gold balloons were released into the air. Coach Perkins says they’ve created a go fund me for Evan’s family. Coach Perkins tells 939 the Eagle that the community, school and Rock Bridge football team are all hurting right now. Perkins describes Evan Avery as “a wonderful kid to be around. Everyone liked him and he was a great teammate. This will be with us going forward. We are hoping the gofundme will help the family with the needs they have allow them to focus on healing.”

Avery’s number six was on display during Saturday’s vigil at Rock Bridge. ABC-17’s Abby Landwehr from our news partner KMIZ reports family and friends were involved to write messages on the jersey.

Meantime, Columbia Police continue their investigation into Friday night’s deadly collision at West Nifong and Bethel. CPD investigators say a Toyota RAV4 containing five juveniles was eastbound on West Nifong, as a Toyota Corolla driven by another juvenile was northbound on Bethel. Columbia Police say the RAV4 went through a solid red light and was struck in the passenger side by the Corolla. CPD says the RAV4 began to roll and struck a third vehicle. CPD says at least one occupant in the RAV4 was ejected from the vehicle, but it’s unclear if that was Evan Avery. Police say none of the occupants of the RAV4 were wearing their seatbelt at the time of the collision. CPD says one juvenile, Avery, was killed, while another suffered life-threatening injuries. Another juvenile sustained serious injuries and three juveniles and an adult female involved in the crash suffered moderate injuries.

Columbia Police say collisions like the one on Friday evening are preventable. CPD expressed its condolences to the friends and family of everyone involved.