Family and friends are mourning the loss of two young men who died in a single-vehicle crash in DeSoto County Sunday. A third young man also in the wreck remains hospitalized at Regional One Health in Memphis.
The victims of the late Sunday afternoon crash were identified as Michael Taylor, age 21, and Christian Compton, age 23, both of Olive Branch. Hurt in the accident was Sloan McClatchy, age 21 of Red Banks.
The accident occurred on Getwell Road at Gray’s Creek Road, southeast of Hernando. Officials said the vehicle, driven by Taylor, left the road and struck a tree. The exact cause of the crash remained under investigation, officials said.
All three were students at Mississippi State University and in a statement following the crash, university president Mark Keenum said Mississippi State was stunned by the tragedy.
“We deeply mourn the loss of these fine members of our MSU family," Keenum said. "Our prayers remain with the families and friends of the three young people involved in this horrific accident. Any time MSU students lose their lives, the entire institution is diminished."
Prior to attending Mississippi State, Compton was part of two Northwest Mississippi Community College men’s basketball teams between 2015-2017.
"I am saddened to hear about the loss of Christian," current Northwest head basketball coach Shane Oakley said. "He was a terrific young man who always had a smile on his face. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."
Oakley was an assistant for the Ranger squads that Compton played on under now Magnolia Heights athletic director/boys’ basketball coach Bubba Skelton.
Compton came to Northwest after helping win a state and overall MAIS basketball championship with Marshall Academy during this senior season on a team that finished with a 37-5 record. He also was part of a state golf championship team and played football.
In his senior year at Mississippi State, Compton was majoring in criminal justice with hopes of becoming a police detective. A private funeral service was planned for Friday with Forest Hill Funeral Home-Midtown in Memphis.
Taylor was involved in church activities at Life Fellowship Church in Southaven, according to his obituary information. He was named to the Dean’s List for the spring semester.
A funeral service for Taylor was held Wednesday morning at Life Fellowship Church in Southaven.