Chapel Hill News

Former Chapel Hill football player hit, killed by car

Greg Powell
Greg Powell submitted

A former Chapel Hill High School student was struck and killed Tuesday evening while walking along Bethel-Hickory Grove Church Road about five miles west of Carrboro.

Greg Powell, who graduated in June, was a former wide receiver and defensive back for Chapel Hill’s football team. He turned 19 on Nov. 15.

Tigers head coach Issac Marsh said he remembers Powell as a quiet, kind and personable young man. He was always with friends, Marsh said.

“He was the type of teammate who would make you smile,” he said.

N.C. Highway Patrol investigators said Powell was wearing dark clothes and walking in the road away from oncoming traffic when he was hit around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Powell died at the scene. The 22-year-old female driver whose car hit him was not injured, troopers said.

Although the accident remains under investigation, the driver is not expected to face charges, troopers said.

Former Tigers quarterback T.J. Johnson said he and Powell met when they both attended Smith Middle School. Although Powell later went to McDougle Middle School, they stayed good friends, he said. Powell never cared about his looks or what other people thought; he was fun to be around, Johnson said.

“He had a huge heart – nobody really disliked him,” Johnson said. “He cared for a lot of people.”

Although Powell had “football dreams” when he was younger, he worked at least two jobs while in high school, Johnson said. He had some family troubles and lived with a friend for a while, but he was getting past them, he said. No matter how bad he felt, Johnson said Powell would always be there trying to make him laugh.

Johnson said he also looked up to Powell, because of his dedication to his mother and siblings. That’s why Powell decided against going to college, he said.

“He said he was going to work and provide for his family,” Johnson said.