FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — On Feb. 12, 2021, a car accident turned fatal. The lives of McKayla Kirk and Philip Dickerson were tragically cut short. Both teenagers attended Midland Trail High School in Fayette County.
Jeremy Moore, an assistant coach for Midland Trail High School, woke up to numerous text messages and posts on social media. He said he cannot even describe the emotions he felt as he read through them and realized what happened.
“I never would have guessed it, he was such a free spirit, Philip was one of kids you thought was going to live forever,” Moore explained.
Philip Dickerson played many different positions for the Patriots on the football field, but his main position was outside linebacker. Moore directly coaches the linebackers. He said he forms a special bond with the kids he coaches because he goes through highs and lows with them.
“There were days I didn’t like him and there were days he didn’t like me, but at the end of the day we could hug each other and tell each other we loved them, and that does make it harder,” said Moore.
Moore also owns and operates New River Sportswear in Oak Hill. Over the weekend, the shop became a place where Dickerson’s former teammates, friends, and community members came to talk, cry, and remember his life.
“Philip was one of a kind, and that’s what makes this so hard for a lot of people because they don’t make Philip Dickerson’s like that anymore,” said Moore.
John Skaggs is a pastor and Dickerson’s uncle. He said Dickerson was a young man of faith, and for that reason, he knows he will see Dickerson again one day.
“It helps us through these times. I know that one day I will see Philip again, and I’ll get to see McKayla, and that gives us hope, and we live in a world that doesn’t have a lot of hope,” said Skaggs.
On Feb. 14, 2021, hundreds of people came together for a candlelight vigil to honor and remember both of the lives lost.
“To see the impact a 19-year-old kid had speaks a lot to his character and who he was as a person,” said Moore.
Dickerson’s family is grateful the community gathered around them during this difficult time.
“It is such a special place and I really appreciate our community, and all the people that have poured out love to our family,” said Skaggs.
Skaggs wants people to know the other life lost in this tragic car accident was a neighbor and close family friend. He asks the community to send their support to his family as well.