BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s something no mother ever wants to deal with, but losing her precious son, Deondrick Rudd, has become the new crippling reality for Dionne Harris.
“I never thought I’d go through this, to have to bury a child,” said Harris.
Her son was setting his entire future in motion. A Southern University student, the 24-year-old had a passion for photography and was just about to propose to his girlfriend in a few weeks on Valentine’s Day. Those dreams were senselessly cut short Saturday, Jan. 25 when out of nowhere, police say two men came drag racing down Lobdell Boulevard. One of the men lost control of his car before slamming into Rudd, who was riding his bicycle.
“People just need to start being more responsible instead of irresponsible and think about what they’re doing before they actually do it,” said Harris.
One of the drivers was also killed, but his brother, Lattimore Brock, 67, is locked up in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. He faces vehicular homicide and other charges.
Terry Lewis, the woman who was going to marry Rudd, says losing him is like losing her whole world.
“His presence just brought joy to the room when he walked through the door. My kids, my family, my nephews, and the first time my auntie and everyone met him, they just loved his spirit,” said Lewis. “I’m truly going to miss him. I’m okay because I’m around y’all, but I break down when I’m by myself.”
While he’s no longer with them, those who loved him are choosing to focus on the fullness of his life rather than the horrible way it ended.
“He was like a big brother to me, really, when I grew up,” said Michael Colbert, a family friend.
“Deondrick played a big part in everybody’s lives,” Harris added.
The one small piece of relief his mother takes from the entire situation is their final conversation ended with her telling her son just how much he meant to her.
“Anytime I talk to any of my kids, I always tell them I love them no matter what, but I just didn’t know that day was going to be the last day," said Harris.