MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Dutch Fork High School graduate died in a car crash near Holly Springs, Miss., on Thursday evening.
According to Mississippi Highway Patrol, 23-year-old Taina (Ty) Laporte collided with a freightliner operated by a 63-year-old man from Alabama. He was not injured in the crash. She died at the scene. The crash happened in Benton County, Miss., near the intersection of US 72 and MS 7.
According to a news release from the university's athletic department, the volleyball and track star was in her senior season at Ole Miss.
"We are shocked and deeply saddened by Ty's death," Ole Miss Athletics Director Ross Bjork said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, her teammates, coaches and our staff during this difficult time. Everyone in the Ole Miss family offers our deepest sympathy to everyone who was touched by Ty's amazing and infectious spirit."
The 23-year-old from Irmo just finished her four-year Rebel volleyball career ranked third all-time in block assists and third all-time in total blocks. She also ranked fifth all-time in kills with just under a thousand.
She was a standout athlete at Dutch Fork High School. She was named an All-Region and All-State selection her senior season in addition to earning player of the year and team MVP honors that year. Laporte was also a track star, lettering for four years and winning the state championship in the high jump three times.
"Anytime someone in the Ole Miss community passes away, especially someone like she was, it really hurt all of us," said student Taylor Karr. "As a family, we come together. It's more than a bond of players. That's your family. That's your sister, your brother. All the work she put in. It hurts. It hurts."
Watch two interviews with Laporte following volleyball games below:
"Our volleyball family is so heartbroken today with this news," Ole Miss head volleyball coach Steven McRoberts said. "Ty's smile would light up the room, and her passion was contagious. She was loved by all of her teammates and coaches. Ty will be greatly missed by not only the volleyball team but the whole Ole Miss community."
Laporte also competed in the high jump for the Ole Miss track and field team. She ranks ninth in school history in the outdoor high jump.
Laporte made the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2014 and 2015. She is a member of the UMAA Honor Roll.
"This is another tragic loss for our campus community and especially our student-athletes, their coaches and administration," Brandi Hephner LaBanc, vice chancellor for student affairs, said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Ty's family, teammates and friends."