On Wednesday night the brother of Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt was killed in a tragic hit-and-run accident in the Atlanta suburb of Johns Creek, which is approximately 28 miles northeast of the city.
On Friday—after news of the incident came to light—Tuitt posted a tribute to the late 23-year-old, Richard Bartlett III, who suffered fatal injuries when he was struck by an oncoming car on a busy stretch of road.
“You are in heaven living stress free. I miss you so so so much bro. We love you and see you again one day,” wrote Tuitt.
Tuitt also took the opportunity to thank well-wishers for the prayers and calls.
Those well-wishes included a tweet sent from the Steelers’ official team account …
… as well as a tweet from Steelers offensive tackle Zach Banner:
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The Incident Remains Under Investigation
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “police are still looking to identify the driver who struck Richard Bartlett III as he tried to secure a mattress and box spring to the top of a vehicle along McGinnis Ferry Road.” Witnesses told officers the vehicle that struck Bartlett was a dark-colored four-door sedan, possibly a BMW.
Johns Creek police are asking anyone with information about the case or the driver to call 470-774-3358. Bartlett’s mother, Tamara Tuitt-Bartlett, is a deputy with the Gwinnett County [Ga.] Sheriff’s Office. Gwinnett County borders Fulton County, where the accident occurred.
Stephon Tuitt Mourned the Loss of a Former College Teammate in February
Tuitt, 28, was selected by the Steelers in the second-round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame (No. 46 overall). He has appeared in 91 games (with 79 starts) and has recorded 246 total tackles (176 solo), with 34.5 sacks and 94 quarterback hits, as well as six forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He is widely regarded as one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL, with one analyst recently ranking him No. 11 in the league.
Tuitt played his high school football at Monroe Area High in Walton County, Ga., where he led the Purple Hurricanes to an 11-2 record during his senior year after the team posted a record of 0-20 during the prior two seasons.
Tuitt has another half-brother, Jared Bartlett, who is a linebacker for the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Earlier in the offseason, Tuitt mourned the loss of Louis Nix III, who played alongside him at Notre Dame and went on to become a third-round draft choice of the Houston Texans in 2014, selected 37 picks after Tuitt. Nix died after his vehicle crashed into a retention pond in Jacksonville; the cause of death was later determined to be drowning. During his four-year NFL career Nix spent time with the Texans, Washington Football Team and Jacksonville Jaguars. In 2015 he appeared in four games for the New York Giants.
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