The Furman University community is mourning the death of a student athlete killed in a crash Friday night.
The Greenville County coroner said Jackson Roberts died in a motorcycle crash around 10 p.m. Friday. The crash happened at the intersection of Poinsett Highway and Rutherford Road.
According to the coroner, Roberts died of blunt force trauma to the head. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. The crash remains under investigation.
Roberts was a senior at Furman. He played lacrosse for the Paladins for two seasons before becoming a player-coach. Part of a foundational recruiting class, Roberts helped lead Furman to a SOCON championship in the fourth year of the program.
“He had a loud voice and a loud laugh,” Jonah Moore said of his teammate during an exclusive interview with WYFF News 4. “He’s larger than life, and he loved everyone, cared for everyone more than himself.”
Moore said the Memphis-born Roberts was bound for a job in finance. He had just aced an interview with a notable firm in Chicago hours before he died. When Moore found out his beloved teammate was involved in a motorcycle accident, he went through the gamut of emotions.
“We’re all in shock and disbelief,” Moore said. “Not much sleep, a lot of crying, a lot of thinking, a lot of laughs also.”
Moore said that lacrosse brought the team closer together, and through Roberts’ death, the bond forged between teammates will grow even stronger.
“The sport of lacrosse brought us together, and it will always have his name on it here at Furman for sure,” Moore said. “The family we have here at Furman, as a lacrosse program, is incredible. That’s going to help us get through this together. But it’s not going to be easy.”
Even students who never knew Roberts expressed condolences in losing one of their own. Mary Coaxum learned of Roberts’ death through a university email. She said the message lets students know their worth on campus.
“Maybe people who would be depressed and don’t think they have a community, you’re a Furman student now,” Coaxum said. “If anything happens to you, people will care and notice. That’s the most comforting thing.”
Furman University released this official statement on Roberts’ passing. The lacrosse team has also received an outpouring of support from other lacrosse programs nationwide.