Man spent day celebrating sister’s birthday before he was killed in crash with 2 baseball players

TROUP COUNTY, Ga. — Family members have identified the third victim of a deadly car crash that happened Saturday night in Troup County.

Rico Dunn, 24, was killed in the crash off Georgia 109 near Paddle Wheel Drive.

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Channel 2 Action News spoke with Lakes-Dunson-Robertson Funeral Home, which is handling the arrangements on behalf of Dunn’s family.

The funeral home said that Dunn had just been celebrating his sister’s birthday hours before the crash happened.

“They [the family] would like for everyone to know that he was the epitome of love. He loved and adored his nieces, nephews, and family.”

In his obituary, family described Dunn as someone who loved all things about wildlife and all kinds of pets.

“A very caring person that would do anything for anyone, whether he knew how to do it or not - he would try,” family members wrote.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by family friends for Dunn.


The other two victims were previously identified as Stephen Bartolotta, 18, and Jacob Brown, 19. Both teens were freshman pitchers for LaGrange College.

The team just won their conference championship to head to NCAA Division III tournament merely hours before the accident.

“I really think shell-shocked is probably the best word. It’s such a shock to the system, to go from winning the conference title here and then a few hours later losing two of your teammates,” Lagrange College Director of Communications and Marketing Dean Hartman said.

Georgia State Patrol did not release the names Sunday morning pending notification of kin. All three victims have since been identified by families, school and Troup County Coroner’s Office.

Troup County Chief Deputy Corner Amy Sheppard told WTVM in Columbus that Brown was trying to pass another car when he came to a rise in the road and hit Dunn’s car head-on.

Brown and Bartolotta were pronounced dead on the scene. Dunn died Sunday morning at Piedmont Columbus Regional, Sheppard told WTVM.

GSP says the crash remains under investigation.

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