Oxford mourns loss of local student


photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hubbard

Crosses on the side of Old Sardis Road in memory of Walker Atkinson and his dog, Piper.

Kathleen Patton, Staff Writer

Students from both Oxford and Lafayette Schools as well as the Oxford community are mourning the loss of Lafayette Middle School student Walker Atkinson who was killed in a one-vehicle car accident on Sunday.

Between 6:30 and 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evening 14-year-old student Atkinson was killed driving towards Sardis when he ran off the road and crashed into a tree. The reason for him losing control of the car is still unknown, but is in the process of being looked into, according to The Oxford Eagle.

Atkinson, son of Doug and Brandall Atkinson, had just started 8th grade. To his classmates at Lafayette he was a symbol of happiness and made a smile appear on the faces of anyone who knew him. The youngest of four boys, Atkinson was always known to be right beside one of his brothers and looked up to them greatly.

“He was like everyone’s little brother,” Oxford High School sophomore Libby Bauer said.

Bauer who knew Atkinson through friends at Lafayette stated, “Even though he didn’t go to our school, he was still apart of our family. He was apart of our community and his death effects us all.”

Many students both at Lafayette and Oxford knew Atkinson as a true “country boy” who had an immense love for animals and farming, along with a passion for tractors. Even though he was not a student at Oxford High, he was still loved and known to many as an amazing, hilarious person who could make anyone smile with just one look. Elizabeth Hubbard, a junior at Lafayette High School, was friends with Atkinson and considered him to be a little brother. She too remarked on how kind he was and how he made everyone smile. According to Hubbard, Atkinson’s two favorite things were his dog, Piper, and tractors.

Gage Freeman, a 8th grader at Lafayette Middle School, was one of Atkinson’s best friends. The two were always getting into trouble and together, but Freeman remarked that Atkinson was always there for him.

“Anytime I needed someone, or something it was like I could pick up the phone and Walker was on the way. We were always in some kind of trouble together, but he always had my back,” Freeman said.

In memory of Atkinson and his kind persona, many students both at Oxford and Lafayette posted messages on social media relaying their sorrow for the family and telling stories of Atkinson and the joy that he brought and shared among many. Along with social media posts, some students from Lafayette, including one of his brothers, spent the night at the sight of the accident were two crosses were placed.

Atkinson’s dog, Piper, was also in the car with him when the accident occurred and as a result two crosses were placed on the side of the road. One commemorating Atkinson and the other commemorating his dog.

“His dog was his best friend. They were always together,” Hubbard said.

A visitation will be held to remember Atkinson today, August 31, from 4-7 P.M. at Waller Funeral Home.