‘He was the family superstar’: Tacoma car crash victim remembered as accomplished athlete and dedicated son

Runnels was killed along with five others in a crash on SR 509 in Tacoma on Sunday morning.

TACOMA, Wash. — Javan Runnels is a successful soccer player, athlete and student.

Runnels just arrived in Tacoma on Friday. A few days later, he was on his way to a convention when he was tragically killed in a crash on State 509 in Tacoma.

According to family members, Runnel is loved by many people.

His mother, Lisa Campbell, told KING 5 by phone: “He was like, he really, he was the superstar of the family.

Runnel is 22 years old. Campbell says he is a star on and off the pitch.

Runnels grew up in dance and won competitions as a kid. He had a lot of passion and was successful at a young age.

“He’s achieved more than most people achieve in 20 years, and the Javan Runnel is the best version of humanity,” said Jason Vincent, his uncle.

He was awarded many scholarships to play football and eventually, he signed with the Arizona Rattlers, an indoor soccer team.

Vincent said: “He is a fourfold threat of talent, and is very caring, thoughtful and perfect in his words when you talk to him.

“I knew he was going to be something one day, one day he was going to be something. God, he was wrong, this was the wrong kid. This never was. should happen,” Campbell said.

Campbell said her son came from Arizona to Tacoma for a weekend conference with the World Wide Group/Amway. He was in the car with six other people when the tragedy struck Sunday morning.

“Someone ran a red light. And that’s it,” Campbell said. “My son still has a pulse and everything. They took him to the hospital. And he lost his pulse at the hospital.”

A Kia Forte, the vehicle Runnel was driving, was traveling east along Alexander Avenue when it was hit by a BMW SUV traveling north along SR 509 around 11am on Sunday.

The Washington State Patrol said the crash was caused by one of the drivers running a red light, but did not identify which driver. The soldiers said speed was also a factor in the crash.

Runnels and five others aboard the Kia Forte were killed in the crash. They are all between the ages of 19 and 25. One survivor is being treated in hospital in critical condition. All of the victims were from the Phoenix area.

“I’m just trying to get them real home. At the same time trying to keep my sanity,” Campbell said.

Campbell and other family members are raising money to bring her son’s remains back to Arizona for a memorial service for him. ONE GoFundMe has been set up to help with the transportation costs of Runnel’s body and to provide Campbell’s financial support during this time.

“There are so many people who need to pay their respects. Right? And see him one last time,” Campbell said.

Campbell never got a chance to say goodbye to his superstar.

“This should never have happened,” Campbell said.

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing edmund@ustimespost.com.

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