Albertville HS student-athlete killed in crash remembered as someone ‘everybody loved’

WAFF 48's Matthew King reporting
Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 9:56 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 5, 2023 at 7:23 AM CDT
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ALBERTVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A 16-year-old Albertville High School student-athlete died following a Monday morning single-vehicle crash in Albertville.

According to the Marshall County Coroner’s Office, at approximately 7 a.m. officers responded to the 2500 block of Alabama Highway 205 North.

After arriving at the scene, 16-year-old Julius Jamear “JJ” Staten was pronounced deceased. Staten was a member of his school’s football team.

AHS said there will be multiple counselors on campus Tuesday for students who may need help coping.

Staten’s coach Bert Browne said he had to tell the team of Staten’s death before practice Monday morning.

“It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life,” he said. “I’m still in disbelief because he was just a big old teddy bear that everybody loved. I don’t know anybody [who] didn’t like JJ. This is a huge blow to our community.”

For the rest of the year, Browne said his team has new important goals in mind.

“Love your teammate, love your players, and let them know you love them,” he said. “Hug them, and tell them to play hard for JJ on Friday.”

Albertville High School shared the following on the loss of JJ:

Please keep AHS in your thoughts and prayers today. AHS was notified this morning that we tragically lost one of our students in a vehicle accident. Due to student privacy we cannot release the name at this time. AHS will have multiple counselors on campus tomorrow for any student that may need help coping with such a tragedy.

Albertville High School

ACS released the following statement:

It is with heavy hearts today that we share the devastating news of a tragic car accident that occurred this morning involving one of our beloved students who was also a member of our football team.

Our entire system is deeply saddened by this loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the student’s family during this incredibly difficult time. We extend our heartfelt condolences and support to them.

Our top priority is to ensure that all students and staff receive the support they need to cope with this tragic loss. Counselors and support services from multiple agencies and local churches will be available tomorrow at the high school to help our students and staff navigate through this challenging time. LifePoint Church has graciously opened its doors to provide support and assistance tonight as well.

ACS is a tight-knit community, and together, we will find strength and support one another through this difficult period of grief and mourning. We encourage all students, staff, and community members to reach out to one another, lean on their support networks, and remember the positive impact this student had on our lives. If any student needs to talk to someone, our dedicated Mental health Coordinator Kristi Rains can be reached at

We will share additional information about memorial services and ways to support the family as details become available. In this moment of sorrow, we ask for your understanding, compassion, and respect for the privacy of the family and our school community.

Albertville City Schools

Albertville Police Department continues to investigate the crash.

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