By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Dariontae Richardson, the 16-year-old Northview High School defensive end who suffered a rare child-heart attack three months ago, just hours after helping lead the Chiefs to their first postseason win in six years, died Monday, Feb. 4.
After his stellar defensive performance during the previous night’s contest, during which he was not injured and after which he was named Defensive Player of the Game, the teen woke up Saturday, November 10, complaining of chest pains and telling his sister that he did not feel well.
The sister called for their mother, Erica Richardson, who found her son face down in his bedroom, not breathing. She administered CPR until an Atmore police officer, then an ambulance crew, arrived and continued the lifesaving procedure.
The junior athlete was taken to Atmore Community Hospital, then airlifted to a Mobile hospital. He was recently taken to UAB University Hospital in Birmingham for further treatment and passed away there.
Social media sites were filled with condolences and prayers for the teen’s family.
“Dariontae was in my first class as a first-year teacher,” said Jason Gurganus, a member of Ernest Ward Middle School’s faculty. “I was immediately impressed with his level of respect, work ethic and willingness to help his fellow students. As the year progressed, I really began to understand just how special a student and young man he actually was. I will miss his smile and humor always. To his family, great job on raising a fine young man.”
“I’m so sorry for the loss of this young man,” said Clarice Trump, whose grandsons Trent and Tyler Kite and foster son Colton also played for Northview. “I’m praying for his family and friends. This is a great loss.”
See obituary on page 3A.