Funeral Plans for Pennsylvania High School Football Star Donovan Baynes Killed in Post-Recruiting Trip Crash

Donovan Baynes' family invites friends to viewing for beloved Penn Hills football star

The family of a popular Pennsylvania high school recruit is welcoming friends to mourn a life ended too soon.

A public viewing for Penn Hills High School’s Donovan "Donnie" Baynes will be held Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. at the Roth Chapel of Soxman Funeral Homes at Saltsburg and Universal roads in Penn Hills, said an obituary for the 17-year-old.

Baynes was in a car that crashed into a utility pole on Saturday night in Penn Hills, near Pittsburgh. He died at a hospital.

Officials with the Penn Hills Quarterback Club said Baynes had just returned from West Virginia Wesleyan College with his mother and girlfriend. His girlfriend, named in his obituary as Alexis Rhone, was hurt in the crash.

Rhone told NBC-affiliate WPXI that she was asleep in the back seat of Baynes' car -- they had just dropped off Baynes' mom and her boyfriend -- when she suddenly saw a bright flashing light. She was ejected from the car and looked back to see her boyfriend slumped over the steering wheel.

"We have to stay strong together for Donovan. Cause that's all he wants us to do. He wants us to be happy," Rhone told WPXI.

Baynes was a starting defensive end for the Penn Hills High School football team.

"Donovan's interest in sports began at a young age," reads his obituary. "He was a defensive end on the football team and wrestled for Penn Hills High School. He was an amazing young man and strong student with a bright future as he was currently being recruited by colleges. He was a great kid with a big heart who will be sorely missed."

Baynes will be laid to rest at Mt. Hope Cemetery after Thursday's funeral at 11 a.m. at Shiloh Community Baptist Church on Frankstown Avenue in Homewood.

A GoFundMe page aims to raise $75,000 to cover Baynes' funeral expenses and create a scholarship fund in his name. As of Tuesday morning the page had raised about $16,000.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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