Mourning the Tragic Loss of Central High and Evangel Student Athlete in Motorcycle Accident


The tragic death of Deverin Lamont King has left his family, friends, and teammates with an immense sadness and feeling of loss. A talented student-athlete and 18-year-old Central High School graduate, King left the Evangel University campus on his motorcycle after classes had finished for the day. A memorial service is planned to celebrate the young man’s life.

Anita King and Deon King’s son was a native Springfielder and spent much of his childhood playing a variety of sports, she said. Once middle school rolled around, he found a passion for track and field and it quickly came to be his favorite. His primary event was the 400m dash but he was most skilled and well-known for his work with the hurdles. He was a consistent performer, breaking records in both middle school and high school.

King was impressive not only athletically, but also humbly. His strong work ethic and character caught the attention of many coaches and eventually earned him more than a dozen scholarship offers. Ultimately he chose Evangel University, which was close to his family’s home.

When he arrived on campus, he began taking classes in digital arts but after reflecting on his experiences tutoring younger students at Disney Elementary, he found his true passion – elementary education. King was well-loved and respected by staff and students at Central High School and remembered for his creative projects and engaging demeanor in the classroom.

On Thursday, April 7, 2021, King left the Evangel campus on his green Yamaha motorcycle. Tragically, a truck pulled out in front of him and he crashed. He passed away at the scene.

Evangel track coach Brandon Staley was one of many touched by King’s quiet confidence and strong work ethic. It was evident that King was always encouraging and never shied away from a challenge. It is this inspiring quality that his teammates and family are going to miss the most.

A memorial service has been organized to take place on April 14 at Evangel University’s Spence Chapel. In addition, a memorial ride will take place on Sunday, April 16th. Participants are asked to meet at 6 pm in the Buffalo Wild Wings lot, organized by Nash Grantham.

To honor King’s memory, Anita King has requested that the funds raised from a GoFundMe page set up by Elishra Viets and Nash Grantham be used to set up a college scholarship for high school students who compete in track but may not be able to afford college tuition.

Evangel University is a private, Christian university in Springfield, Missouri. Established in 1955 by the Assemblies of God, the University has since grown to include a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees in both traditional and online formats. It is well-known for their commitment to academic excellence, service and faith.