Friends remember truck driver killed in crash on I-20 - - Columbia, South Carolina

Friends remember truck driver killed in crash on I-20

Heyward Quattlebaum (Source: Quattlebaum family) Heyward Quattlebaum (Source: Quattlebaum family)

Heyward Quattlebaum drove a truck. But also he was a son and the father of three daughters. He played the harmonica in church and in a local band.

"He taught me how to play the harmonica and I taught him about coaching," said Quattlebaum's close friend, Strother Sligh.

 He also spent more than 20 years of his life coaching on the football field.

"He'd always say the thing that meant the most to him was he loved to see those kids grow up and see what happened to them in the future," said Sligh.

Sligh said Quattlebaum was like his son.

"One thing a parent never thinks about, he never thinks his child is going before him," he said.

Quattlebaum died Tuesday evening in a crash on Interstate 20 near the Spears Creek Church Road exit. The Richland County Coroner said the 55-year-old died after his truck hit the guard rail, veered off into the woods, and hit a tree.

Sligh coached Quattlebaum as a young running back and then coached with him.

"He was always a positive person. He was always smiling," he said. "It's a loss. It's a loss not seeing his face. It's just like an empty space and I'll miss him."

Family friend Tim Graves was on the sidelines with Quattlebaum for the last seven seasons at Irmo High.

He described Quattlebaum as "Loyal. Trusting. Caring."

Graves said he looked up to Quattlebaum for the last 10 years. Now shock, awe and disbelief have set in.

"When you get that text at 9:30 at night, you don't expect it," he said.

No one knows what led to the crash that killed Quattlebaum.

While it's hard for family and friends to digest, Graves said he knows his friend is in heaven.

"Called him at 11:30 at night knowing he wasn't going to answer on Tuesday night," said Graves. "And I left a voice mail message for him. And I was hoping when he got to heaven he'd be able to listen. And what I told him was, 'We'll coach again on God's football field. Have my whistle ready when I get there. I love you, buddy.'"

Funeral services are Saturday at 2:30 at the Bostick-Tompkins Funeral Home in Columbia.

Music included in the video of this story is Blues Had A Baby from the Fatback and the Groove Band.

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