Apr 23, 2021
After finishing his freshman season at guard for the Kentucky Wildcats, Terrence Clarke was preparing for the NBA draft and a future career of fame and fortune. That dream ended tragically Thursday afternoon in the San Fernando neighborhood of Northridge.
According to Los Angeles Police Department reports, Clarke was driving his vehicle at high-speed on Winnetka Avenue when he approached a red light at the intersection of Nordhoff Street. The LAPD said Clarke sped through the red light and crashed into another vehicle attempting to make a left turn at the intersection. The fatal car accident occurred at approximately 2 p.m.
Clarke’s vehicle was traveling so fast that, after the initial impact of the collision, it continued on to strike a light pole before finally crashing into a brick wall. The severity of the crash was captured on a nearby security camera. Video footage of the fatal crash was eventually released by CBS Los Angeles.
Clarke was rushed to Northridge Hospital Medical Center where he died. No other injuries or fatalities were reported.
Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant John Matassa, who works in the Valley Traffic Division, told ESPN that Clarke ran the red light while traveling “at a very high rate of speed.”
“The incident was captured on surveillance video. He collided with another vehicle that was preparing to make a left-hand turn. He struck the vehicle, hit a street light pole and ultimately hit a block wall,” Matassa said. “He was transported to Northridge Hospital and was later pronounced deceased as a result of the collision.”
Clarke was reportedly returning from a workout at a Los Angeles gym with former Kentucky teammate Brandon “BJ” Boston Jr. He was driving a 2021 Hyundai Genesis and, according to Sergeant Matassa, was not wearing his seat belt properly. Clarke was only 19 years old.
Clarke made his college basketball debut on November 25, 2020 against Morehead State with 12 points, four assists, and three steals. Though he played in just eight games last season due to a leg injury, Clarke made six starts and averaged 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. One of Clarke’s best performances included a 22-point, three-assist game versus Georgia Tech. He shot nine for 14 with three 3-pointers. In other outstanding performances, Clarke scored 15 points and snagged six rebounds against Richmond, and posted 14 points with three assists against Notre Dame.
Clarke signed with Kentucky out of Boston as one of the most coveted prospects in the 2020 high school class. A consensus five-star prospect, he was once ranked as high as Number 8 by Rivals rankings.
Clarke’s coach at Kentucky, John Calipari, issued a public statement after hearing of the fatal car accident:
“I am absolutely gutted and sick tonight,” Calipari said Thursday. “A young person who we all love has just lost his life too soon, one with all of his dreams and hopes ahead of him. Terrence Clarke was a beautiful kid, someone who owned the room with his personality, smile and joy.”
“People gravitated to him,” added Calipari. “And to hear we have lost him is just hard for all of us to comprehend right now. We are all in shock.”
Clarke is survived by his parents, Osmine Clarke and Adrian Briggs, and his three siblings, Tatyana Gray, Gavin Clarke, and Madison Adrianne.
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