NEW KENT CO., Va. (WAVY/WRIC) – A 25-year-old man was killed in a single-vehicle crash in New Kent County Friday night.
Virginia State Police said they were alerted around 9:30 p.m. about the crash on Interstate 64 at the 209 mile marker. The investigation determined the driver of a 2016 Honda ran off the road and hit several trees in the median. There was reportedly no evidence of braking before the collision.
The driver, identified as 25-year-old Darius Gillus, was wearing a seatbelt, but police said he died at the scene.
The former Old Dominion University (ODU) baseball player was described by his teammates as an uplifting and positive person, who will be so missed.
“Myself and everyone else that had the honor of knowing Darius will have this everlasting impression he has made on us,” former teammate Culver Lamb said. “He was always putting his family needs above all. He was loyal and loving.”
WRIC in Richmond spoke with Gillus’ parents, Quinton and Gail, who said that he was actually on his way home to Chesterfield when the crash happened.
“Family means everything to us,” Gail said. “He always wanted his family together, and that was one of the reasons why he would come home every weekend, was because he wanted to be with his family, and he made that trip numerous times.”
Darius Gillus leaves behind a large family, including sisters and a younger brother. The family will be having services on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
“Hug your loved ones. Us parents — our kids sometimes think they’re invincible, but they’re not. Call them, take the time to call,” Quinton said. “He drove when he probably could’ve waited another day to drive. Pass that on from parents to kids: don’t drive when you’re sleepy.”
Gail was making final arrangements for her son on Tuesday, something she said she never thought she’d have to do.
“I still can’t believe it. I still keep thinking I’m going to wake up and this is just a dream and he’ll be back home again,” she said. “I miss him. I miss him dearly.”
Justin Hayes lived and played baseball with Gillus at ODU, and said he will always remember his smile.
“He just seemed like he was always fun to be around,” Hayes said. “That was one of my closest friends. We didn’t grow up together. But as soon as we got to ODU, we kind of clicked.”
Hayes said it was difficult to wrap his head around someone so close to him being gone so young. But he told 8News that he will honor Gillus’ memory as he works to move forward from this tragedy.
“It was just God to — it was his time, then it was his time,” he said. “Because we bonded on the baseball field, I’m always going to have his number and his initials written onto my hat and on my shoes, just to remember him, and before every game and before every practice, just kind of touch it and just remind me of him a little bit.”