Morgan student killed in wreck
Boy, 14, played tight end on Priceville football team
By Holly Hollman
SOMERVILLE — Priceville High School football player Gregory Roman Jr., who was barely 14 years old, was to take his first girlfriend to homecoming this Friday.
Instead, homecoming will be somber because No. 86 won’t take the field.
Gregory, who wore that number, died Saturday after a one-vehicle accident in Somerville.
He was the third accident victim to die in the Decatur area during the weekend.
State troopers said Gregory was a passenger in a car driven by Justin West, 16, of Somerville.
Gregory’s mother, Leslie McCullough, said he had spent Friday night with Justin, and the two hung out Saturday.
Troopers would not say what caused the wreck, and McCullough said no one will tell her what happened. Somerville Fire Chief David Nelms said the driver apparently lost control.
The wreck occurred at 4:45 p.m. at 693 Joe Lemmond Road, according to troopers and Morgan County 911.
“I went out there, and the car was in the middle of this rural road,” McCullough said. “I couldn’t get close enough to see any damage, but it was on all four wheels. There were no trees out there, just grass on both sides, so I don’t think they hit anything.”
Decatur General Hospital treated and released Justin. MedFlight took Gregory to Huntsville Hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.
Troopers said neither boy had on a seat belt, but McCullough said her son’s seat belt broke.
“I talked to him 30 minutes before the wreck,” she said. “His younger sister had seen him at the (Wheeler National Wildlife) Refuge and told me, so I called to check on him.
“I told him to be sure and put on his seat belt. I just had a feeling. Something was bothering me and made me say that. He said, ‘Mama, I always wear it.’ Then he told me he loved me.”
Football Coach Donald Weeks said Gregory started the season as center but the team had a depth problem, and Gregory willingly moved to tight end. He also played linebacker on defense.
“He was one of our young kids, and he didn’t miss a single workout all summer,” Weeks said. “He was one of the few kids that didn’t miss, and that tells you he loved it. He was trying to make himself a better player.”
He had started JROTC this year and liked hunting, skateboarding and fishing, his mother said. He stayed on the A-B honor roll.
“But football was his passion,” she said. “He had played since seventh grade. He wanted to play college ball at Alabama and then go pro. He was a big boy out on that field.”
McCullough said Gregory stood 6 feet 1 and weighed 175 pounds, and he had “a heart big enough to go with his big body.”
“He would have given someone the shirt off his back,” she said. “He was an all-around good boy. His girlfriend’s mother said she let her daughter date him because Gregory was so polite and nice and sweet.”
Gregory planned to take his girlfriend, Kayla Melcher, to homecoming when Priceville plays Danville.
“He had talked to her over the weekend and told her he loved her,” McCullough said. “They had only been dating a few weeks.”
She said students and teachers have visited the family to offer condolences.
“His friends are having a hard time,” she said. “A.J. Bomar was a good friend to him and on the team, and he and all of them are having a rough time.”
McCullough said the school is planning some type of memorial, but she does not have details. She said the school also will dedicate the yearbook to Gregory.
And at Friday’s homecoming game, his team, his school and his family and friends will miss seeing No. 86.
“I just can’t imagine not seeing him out there,” his mother said.
Peck Funeral Home will announce arrangements.
In addition to his mother, Gregory is survived by his father, Gregory Roman Sr. of Danville; his stepfather, James McCullough; an older sister, Lindsay Roman; and a younger sister, Emily McCullough.
Gregory’s death was the third from fatal accidents on Friday and Saturday.
All three were single-car accidents.
According to trooper reports, Stacey Michele Harris, 33, of Madison died after a wreck on Copperfield Lane in the Copperfield Subdivision in Capshaw on Saturday at 1:45 a.m. She hit a culvert.
Ronald Gilbert Tucker, 49, of Cullman died after a wreck on Cullman County 813, eight miles west of Cullman, on Friday night. Details about his wreck were unavailable.
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