Bryce Gowdy, a 17-year old high school football star from Florida, has died after being hit by a train a few days before he was set to join the football team at Georgia Tech University. He reportedly walked in front of the train as it was approaching, and so his death has been ruled a suicide by the medical examiner.
Gowdy, who was a promising athlete and one of the top-ranked high school wide receivers in the country, was awarded a full scholarship to enroll at Georgia Tech. He finished his high school courses a semester early so he could start college on January 6.
However, on the morning of December 30, Gowdy was struck and killed by a train. He was rushed to the hospital, where he later died. The medical examiner’s office ruled the death a suicide.
Gowdy’s mother, Shibbon Winelle, said in a now-deleted Facebook Live video posted on the next day of his death that her son seemed to be paranoid and acting weirdly in the days before he died.
Winelle added that Gowdy could have had difficulties in dealing with their financial hardships and homelessness. The day before he died, they were sent out of their house and were in the car all day until they found a hotel room where they could stay for that evening. She was shocked to hear the news the next morning.
“My baby walked in front of a train and he killed himself,” Winelle shouted on the video.
Meanwhile, Gowdy’s grandfather was also devastated by his death. He said that Gowdy was loved by their whole family but he must have felt the pressure as the oldest to care for his family.
Deerfield Beach High School head coach Jevon Glenn said that Gowdy’s death was heartbreaking. He said, “He was a great kid. The hardest working and most caring people. He really cared about others. He cared about others’ success, team success more so than his. … All-around great kid.”