TATE COUNTY, Miss. — Family and friends are grieving after a Tate County teenager was killed in a car surfing incident over the weekend.
As Tate County deputies investigate his death, loved ones are mourning the loss of 18-year-old Gary Lenard Jr., affectionately known as Bubba. Alex Cummins was his close friend.
“We’re basically brothers,” Cummins said. “Bubba was a hardworking dude. Most nicest person you’ll ever meet. He’d give you his arm if he could.”
According to the Tate County Sheriff’s Office, Lenard died Sunday after allegedly jumping from the roof of a moving vehicle Friday night.
“Nothing is the same. Something in my heart is just gone and it’ll never be replaced,” Cummins said.
Deputies said they received a call to respond to South Crockett Road Saturday morning. A juvenile told them he was driving as he claims Lenard was drinking vodka and an energy drink in the passenger seat while the two rode around with three other minors in the truck.
The juvenile told deputies Lenard climbed on top of the truck acting like he was surfing. The minor said he slowed down to 10 mph and that’s when Lenard jumped onto the gravel road.
The juvenile told officers he helped Lenard get into the truck and drove him to a friend’s house, leaving Lenard asleep in the truck. It was more than nine hours later when he said he tried to wake Lenard and noticed blood.
According to an incident report, Lenard was rushed to Strayhorn Football Field. He was then flown to Regional One in Memphis where he died.
Cummins said he wasn’t in the car with his friends but awoke to the tragedy unfolding.
“I was sleep. I don’t really know but things happened and God was ready for him,” he said. “Everyone in this situation is hurt.”
Lenard is set to be laid to rest on Saturday in Senatobia.
The Tate County Sheriff’s Office said this is an ongoing investigation.