Man killed in I-24 crash was Chattanooga State basketball coach, brother of NFL player

Chattanooga State Community College campus sign / Staff file photo

The Times Free Press has confirmed the man killed in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 24 Sunday night was 29-year old Volonte Bell, a Chattanooga State assistant basketball coach and the older brother of former Ridgeland star and current New Orleans Saints safety Vonn Bell.

Bell was in his third season as an assistant on the Chattanooga State men's basketball staff.

"I spoke with his mother this morning and she was trying to be strong, but this is just a very sad day for all of us who knew him," Chattanooga State assistant athletic director and men's head basketball coach Jay Price said. "Volonte was just a positive, energetic guy who was always upbeat. Anybody who met him will tell you the first thing you always noticed was his smile and that's the thing a lot of us will remember him for.

"This was probably his last year to coach with us because he was too good at such a young age not to be moving up. His personality made him a perfect fit for the coaching world because he never met a stranger, he could talk to anybody and didn't mind working hard. He had such a bright future ahead of him. It's just hard to believe."

Around 9:38 pm. Sunday, Chattanooga police responded to the multi-vehicle crash at 18400 I-24 eastbound. According to police, a Volvo truck with a trailer attached to the back was traveling in the middle lane when Bell's Honda Civic traveling behind it failed to slow down and struck the trailer.

Bell was pronounced dead at the scene, a news release states.

Chattanooga police ask anyone with information regarding this incident to call 423-698-2525 or submit a tip through the CPD mobile app. Tipsters can remain anonymous.