Crime & Courts

High school football player killed when his vehicle was hit by stolen car, SC cops say

This screenshot shows Joshua Daniel Burgess, who was killed in a three-vehicle crash.
This screenshot shows Joshua Daniel Burgess, who was killed in a three-vehicle crash. Facebook

A South Carolina community is in mourning after a high school football player was killed in a car crash.

In addition to the teenager who was killed in the three-vehicle collision involving a stolen car, three others have been hospitalized with serious injuries, according to the Greer Police Department.

Joshua Daniel Burgess was pronounced dead on scene of the Wednesday crash in front of a Target shopping plaza, reported Greenville County Coroner B. Parks Evans, Jr.

The 17-year-old senior played football for Wade Hampton High School, according to maxpreps.

Joshua was also a youth football coach, the Taylors Youth Association posted on Facebook, saying the teenager helped with the 8-year-old and under team.

“Josh was a great guy and will never be forgotten. He was a great coach and mentor to our players,” read a Facebook post on the association’s page. It said there was a candlelight vigil in Burgess’ memory Thursday night at the high school.

Joshua was driving a 2016 Toyota Corolla when the crash occurred just before 8:30 p.m., police said.

The Greenville teen had two passengers in the car, which was stopped at a red light on US-29 when it was struck from behind by a 2016 Honda Accord, which police reported was stolen earlier that day.

Witnesses said the Accord was speeding when it crashed into the Corolla, police said.

The impact caused the Toyota to roll on its side after it was hit from behind, and the Accord went into the median of the road, “where it struck a 1998 Honda that was attempting to make a left turn,” according to police.

The coroner said Joshua was wearing his seat belt. An autopsy showed his cause of death was the result of “blunt force trauma of the head, neck and chest.”

Both of Joshua’s passengers were taken to an area hospital, along with the driver of the stolen Accord, according to police. Joshua’s sister and cousin were in the car with him on their way home from church at the time of the wreck, WYFF reported.

According to a GoFundMe set up for the Burgess family, Joshua’s sister Lily needs “extensive orthopaedic surgery,” which will require a “lengthy recovery.” In 8 hours, $9,320 of the $10,000 goal had been raised on 151 donations.

There has been no update on the conditions of Joshua’s cousin or the other driver.

No charges have been filed, but the deadly collision remains under investigation by the police, which said “upon the conclusion of the investigation appropriate charges will be made.”

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.