• Fan killed in RV accident was injured in previous road trip

    By: Carl Willis


    ATLANTA,None - Tim Horton is left only with fond memories of his uncle Darryl Parker, a University of Alabama football fanatic from Riverdale.

    Parker died Saturday on a road trip to see his beloved Crimson Tide take the field.

    "I've been rolling with him ever since I was a kid, so we definitely just would do anything to travel to watch Alabama play," Horton told Channel 2’s Carl Willis.

    Horton said he was with Parker and a group of relatives on Friday when they took a group picture. That was just moments before they got on Interstate 85 toward New Orleans to watch the BCS national football championship game.

    The next day, Mississippi state troopers said the 2002 Freightliner RV they were traveling in had a blowout causing it to go off the road and hit a tree. Troopers said at least 10 of the 14 passengers were injured.

    Parker and the driver, 66-year-old Alfred Holt, a professional bus driver from Lithonia, were killed.

    "He (Holt) was a great friend of the family," said Horton. "He drove charter buses for the family when they made their travels for the Falcons and New Orleans (Saints) game."

    Horton said the accident on Interstate 59 in Forrest County wasn't his uncle's first accident on an Alabama road trip. Parker was in an accident in 1995 while heading to an Alabama game and broke his neck. He has been in a wheelchair ever since.

    Horton left Monday for Hattiesburg, Mississippi to be with his family in the hospital.

    "It's pretty tough right now but we're going to pull through," he said. "We're definitely going to pull through."

    Horton told Willis he easily could have been on that RV and among the 10 people injured.

    "Through the grace of God I changed my mind at the last minute to not go," he said.

    Now he's packing his bags to go support his family camped out at the hospital.

    "I know everyone in Mississippi right now. They need as much prayer to heal physically and to heal mentally," he said.

    The motor home is owned by former Kansas City Chiefs halfback Solomon Brannan. Brannan's attorney declined to comment.

    Troopers said they didn't believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. They also said they did not believe that the RV owner was negligent.

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