BONIFAY - A 19-year-old former Vernon football player and graduate is dead after his truck collided with a deer near the intersection of State Road 79 and East Martin Road just past midnight on Saturday.
According to a Florida Highway Patrol news release, Joshua Steve Webb, of Chipley, was traveling north on State Road 79 in the northbound lane when a deer ran into the road, colliding with the front of the 2004 Toyota Tacoma that Webb was driving.
After the collision with the deer, the truck veered into the southbound land and onto the west shoulder of SR 79.
It then continued traveling in a northwest direction, eventually hitting a culvert, which sent the truck airborne, the news release stated. The vehicle landed and began to flip, ejecting Webb from the vehicle. The truck came to a final rest overturned and facing east on the west shoulder of State Road 79.
Webb was not wearing a seatbelt. It is unclear if alcohol was involved, the release stated.
In memory of Webb - No. 72 on the team - this Friday night's home game, the Vernon Yellow Jackets will be wearing "JW 72" stickers on their helmets.
The game will be held at 7 p.m.
"Josh was the life of the party. He hardly ever had a bad day," said Vernon High School Football Coach Gerald Tranquille. "He had a way of making people smile and picking people up who were sad around him."
Tranquille recalls the last game of Webb's senior year, when Webb was called to be a captain.
"I can still picture the excitement and gratitude on his face," he said.
"To see him make it through the season, get to start that game, finish out the year and graduate, it was special not only for him but for me as well," Tranquille added. "He will truly be missed."
On Saturday, a funeral service will be held at Shiloh Church, 1976 Shiloh Lane in Chipley, at 2 p.m. The Yellow Jacket Stadium at Memorial Field will open at 7:30 p.m. Saturday to receive family and friends, and to say final farewells.
"Thank you so much for all the words and photographs that you all have shared. There are so many memories that the family can see because you shared them," Emily Owens Holiday posted Monday evening on behalf of Webb's family. "Most of all thank you for the love that has been shown for Josh. Please keep our family in your prayers."
"Saturday is a celebration of his life. Josh was special and he knew how to make people laugh. When you attend his celebration please wear something bright that you know Josh would love," the post read.
For more information about the stadium meeting, call Principal Brian Riviere at 850-258-2959.
"Joshua will be dearly missed both by his classmates as well as our faculty and staff," said VHS/VMS Principal Brian Riviere. "Josh had the ability to make anyone smile, had a tremendous personality, and a magnetism about him that could not be denied. He meant so very much to so many and I know his memory will live on with his classmates."