BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A freak accident caused the death of former NFL player Keion Carpenter. Wednesday, loved ones celebrated the Baltimore native’s life and his impact beyond the field.
The Woodlawn High community remembered a man who made it big, but was still humble.
Carpenter played in the NFL for six years, but last week the man who was a mentor to so many, suddenly died.
Carpenter was on vacation in Miami and his family said he was racing his son to the car, but then according to the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner investigation report: “He held on to the driver’s side mirror, then suffered a sudden collapse backwards from a standing position. He did not make any attempts to stop his fall, striking the back of his head on the ground.
Carpeter regained consciousness but later went into a coma. He died from blunt force head trauma.
Under the lights where he once played, a different type of light for Carpenter Wednesday.
His Woodlawn classmates huddled together in the cold to remember number 29.
After playing football in high school, going on to college and then the pros, friends say Carpenter never forgot where it all started, and that’s why he continually gave back to the community.
The Baltimore native ran summer camps in Charm City and friends said he never turned a child away.
“He probably was the most remarkable man I have ever met, had the biggest heart I have ever seen,” said friend Jerel Wilson.
As so many took to the field where he once shined, they pledge to carry-on his legacy.
“The kind words and the encouraging words that he posted on Facebook daily, it just lifted a lot of people’s spirits and he will truly truly be missed,” said friend Vanessa Locke.
Carpenter leaves behind a wife and four children. His classmate told WJZ they are determined to continue with the camps he started.
There will be a viewing on Sunday at Wiley Funeral Home in Randallstown. His funeral will be on Monday.