Friday, October 31, 2014

Athlete dies in car crash

Teammates, friends remember Liberty freshman Darius Dixon

Darius Dixon, a freshman at Liberty University and a runner on the Flames track and field team, was tragically killed Saturday, Dec. 7 in a car accident when the vehicle he was riding in struck a tree in Franklin County, Va., according to The News & Advance.

sports — Darius Dixon ran for the track team. Photo provided

Sports — Darius Dixon ran for the track team. Photo provided

“Our hearts are all aching over the tragic loss of this promising life,” Liberty track and field Head Coach Brant Tolsma said in an article on the Liberty Athletics website. “Darius was a very special young man.”

Darius Dixon was less than one month from turning 19 at the time of his death. He was from Chesapeake, Va., and was the son of Herman and Shineka Dixon.

The accident occurred only days before Liberty’s winter break began and just days after Darius Dixon competed in his first collegiate meet. In the event, which took place at Liberty’s Tolsma Indoor Track Center Dec. 4-5, Darius Dixon competed in the 200-meter and 400-meter races.

Tolsma said Darius Dixon provided a hopeful presence as a member of the team.

“He was a very encouraging and giving person who provided a lot of support for his teammates and encouraged them in training,” Tolsma said. “He knew how to have fun, but he also knew how to get serious. Everybody that got to know him … really (liked) him.”

In addition to his time on the track, Darius Dixon also participated in several of the Liberty University Athletics Department’s community service projects, according to the Liberty athletics website.

For one of the initiatives, the Thanks for Giving clothing drive that benefits needy people in the area through Lynchburg Daily Bread, Darius Dixon donated 257 clothing items, according to Student-Athlete Development Coordinator Morgaine Godwin. Tolsma said Darius Dixon had donated the items without wanting anyone to know.

Godwin, who puts together all outreach events for Liberty student athletes, said Darius Dixon volunteered at almost every event she organized, including special fun nights with an area elementary school and helping with athletics marketing.

“He was an incredibly giving individual and just had a heart of gold,” Godwin said. “…He was always willing to be someone who helped in anything and everything. … To be a freshman and to be that giving of your time says a lot.”

Aklesso Agama, Darius Dixon’s roommate and a freshman on Liberty’s track team, said he was hugely impacted by Darius Dixon, even after only one semester together.

“Darius was more than a roommate,” Agama said. “He was like the brother I never had. It was so weird how someone (so far) away can be so similar. He had my back better than any chiropractor, and he loved people more than himself. He was always encouraging me and the rest of the team and always kept things competitive. Even speed walking to class every morning was a competition.”

Agama added that Darius Dixon left a legacy that has impacted more than just Agama or the Liberty community. Agama said God has used Darius Dixon’s life to bring people to the Lord.

“At his funeral, there were hundreds of people that were there, and many people gave their lives to the Lord,” Agama said. “When I went to Haiti over the break, I shared about Darius’ life and witnessed to many kids and also helped lead my step-brother to Christ (through Darius’ life). Darius’ death was unfortunate, but through God’s just decision, now many people will be able to be where Darius is — heaven.”

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