MISSOURI CITY, Texas – Former athletes Adrian and Veronnia Byrd fell for each other in high school. They hardly planned to separate in the gruesome manner it happened on west Sam Houston Parkway near South Street early Sunday morning.
The couple enjoyed a date night away from their two-year-old and three-year-old children. As they drove home from a wedding party, a stranger steered his Ford F-150 truck head-on into the couple’s Mercedes.
It forever wrecked the Byrd’s family. Adrian was killed in the crash, Veronnia was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
“It’s probably the worst day of my life,” said Audrey Byrd, Adrian’s mother. “I never thought I’d have to bury my child. Nothing prepares you.”
Adrian Byrd’s parents are still in shock. They were babysitting his children when deputies notified the family by phone.
The Byrds are proud of their son’s legacy. Adrian starred in track and football at Willowridge High School until his 2001 graduation. He then played fullback for and became captain of the University of New Mexico’s football team.
Though he never played a down in the NFL as he dreamed, teammates and coaches showered Facebook with tales of the larger impact Adrian had on teens around Houston.
For the last seven years while teaching at Nimitz and Heights High Schools, “Coach Byrd” worked to get many students scholarships.
He even helped fill out FAFSA forms for a group of track athletes whom he once escorted to prom just to show he cared.
“(He was) just a nice, well-rounded child,” said Audrey Byrd. “(He was) dependable (and) well-loved. I just always said my boy. That’s my boy.”
Byrd’s wife, Veronnia, is in critical but stable condition with multiple broken bones in both legs, family said.
The wrong-way driver who hit the Byrds was also taken to the hospital in serious condition.
Criminal charges have not yet been filed.