PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - UPDATE 3/24/14
An athlete with a bright future, gone too soon. A car accident Saturday night on I-64 in Clark County, killed a University of Pikeville freshman. Officials say 18-year-old, Timothy "Cole" Thomas, lost control of his vehicle causing it to flip.
As students return to campus after spring break, they are learning one Upike Bear is not coming back.
Brooklyn Bowen says, "Friday I was having a conversation with him and to find out Saturday he passed...it was really hard."
Freshman Timothy Thomas, known by most as Cole, entered college as a standout athlete. He was set to compete this spring in both discus and shot put..an event he was the high school state runner-up in last year.
UPike Coach John Biery says, "The future was really bright for him in our program."
Thomas' friends say he will be remembered on campus as a great athlete but more importantly a great person.
Bowen says, "He always had people laughing and smiling. He was a joy to people and always there if you needed someone. He was just a caring person."
"I called him a gentle giant. You look at him...he is a big guy, but he is just like a teddy bear," explains Biery.
Even though Thomas will not step in the circle to compete as the Bears open their season next weekend, teammates say he will be with them.
"Everyone has to make a positive out of it and stay positive. We have to look forward to another day," says Bowen.
Teaching them all a valuable lesson by the way he lived his life, knowing this could happen to anyone.
Biery says, "That is why you've got to get up every morning and do your best, by happy, be glad, and do the right things. That is what he did. I know looking up, he is looking down on us right now."
"He would tell us to stay strong, keep our heads up...just keep moving forward," says Bowen.
There will be a memorial service for Thomas on Tuesday at 11 o'clock in the UPike chapel.
His funeral is Wednesday at one o'clock at the old Raceland High School.
CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT/WOWK) - Timothy "Cole" Thomas, a freshman and track standout at the University of Pikeville in KY, was killed in a vehicle accident along I-64 in Clark County.
Investigators say Thomas was driving east on I-64, in Clark County, KY, late Saturday evening when Thomas lost control of his car. They say the car flipped, slammed into a guard rail. the vehicle flipped and Thomas was thrown from the vehicle. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Thomas was a freshman at the University of Pikeville and one of the school's rising track stars. 13News spoke to his track coach at the university, John Biery, over the phone.
Biery says that he is in shock over the death of Thomas. He adds that Thomas was an outstanding student -athlete and good person.
The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation at this time. However, Biery told 13News he understood the vehicle that Thomas was in had "air pressure" problems with the tires.
Clark County Sheriff's Deputies are expected to release additional information on the accident investigation on Monday, March 24.
Last year, Thomas was a senior at Raceland- Worthington High School in KY. He was also a star student- athlete at that school and a member of their track team.