On Friday night, the grandfather of one of the Music City Bowl football players was killed after being hit by a hotel car on Nashville’s West End Avenue.
William Smith Jr., 76, of Waterloo, Iowa, was hit by a van after he stepped onto the road on West End Avenue shortly after 10 p.m., according to the Metro Nashville Police Department. Police said his family had warned him not to set foot on the road, but Smith didn’t hear the warning.
Smith was the grandfather of Iowa star linebacker Jack Campbell, who helped the Hawkeyes to a 21-0 win over Kentucky at Nissan Stadium on Saturday. Campbell won the Butkus Award, which is given annually for the best linebacker in college football in 2022, and in his last college game he recorded 10 sacks and his tackles.
“Our hearts go out as Jack and his entire family mourn the tragic passing of their grandfather and father, William Smith Jr.,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferenc said in a school release. “We know Mr. Smith was a strong influence on his grandchildren and a loyal supporter of Hawkeye football. I will continue to think and pray for my family.”
Campbell’s parents didn’t tell him of his grandfather’s death until after the game, Iowa said in a release.
There were eight people in the van at the time, including the driver. All were unharmed. MNPD spokesperson Don Aaron said police had no plans to press charges against the driver who was driving for the Holiday Inn at the time.
Smith was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he died.
Nick Gray contributed to this story.