Chattanooga State Community College confirmed in a statement that assistant men's basketball coach Volonte Bell, who is the older brother of New Orleans Saints safety Vonn Bell, died in a car crash Sunday night.
"The Chattanooga State family is deeply saddened by the passing of Volonte Bell," the statement read. "Volonte was killed in a tragic car accident last night. He has been a valued member of our men's basketball coaching staff for the last three seasons and will be greatly missed."
Vonn Bell and Saints and former Ohio State teammate Michael Thomas reacted to the news on Twitter:
"I spoke with his mother this morning and she was trying to be strong, but this is just a very sad day for all of us who knew him," Chattanooga State assistant athletic director and men's head basketball coach Jay Price said, per Stephen Hargis of the Times Free Press. "Volonte was just a positive, energetic guy who was always upbeat. Anybody who met him will tell you the first thing you always noticed was his smile and that's the thing a lot of us will remember him for."
Hargis provided details on the crash, noting Chattanooga police said Bell's car hit a Volvo truck with a trailer from behind.
Bell was pronounced dead at the scene.