After a car accident during his junior season at Lausanne, Tyler Bell said he believes he has been given a second chance.
“I stepped out of the car and was instantly grateful to be alive,” Bell said. “I knew it could have been way worse. I was in the hospital with my mother and father.
“They continuously told me how grateful I should be because most people don’t come out of something like this. I’m just thankful.”
As Lausanne was in the middle of a winning season, after having a modified schedule the previous year, Bell’s car and another vehicle struck each other on his way home from practice in October 2021.
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Bell’s car was headed through an intersection when another vehicle went through the intersection and struck him from his left. It demolished the front end of his car.
Bell’s mother Shannon Battle said she was on the phone with Bell moments before the accident asking if he wanted food. Less than five minutes later, Bell returned her call stating that he was in an accident.
“At first, I thought he was joking,” Battle said. “I drove up to the scene of the accident and I instantly saw the car. I became very frightened. I was really relieved as a parent once I finally saw him.”
Bell, a 6-foot-3, 300-pound senior, walked away from the accident with only a few cuts and a bruised ankle. He returned to the field within the same month with a new appreciation for the game.
Bell is the No. 5 player in The Commercial Appeal’s Dandy Dozen, a collection of the top college football prospects in the Memphis area as picked by the newspaper. The three-star offensive tackle is the No. 36 player in the state according to the 247Sports Composite. He has offers from Georgia State, Middle Tennessee State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Troy and Western Kentucky.
Bell said he believes it was God’s grace that he left the accident barely touched. His mother says she introduced Bell to God at a young age and it warms her heart to see that Bell has taken on a relationship with God on his own.
Bell was introduced to playing at Lausanne by his stepfather towards the end of his middle school career. At first, Bell was not sold on the idea, but later came around because he saw not only the athletic benefits of attending the school, but the academic benefits. He said Lausanne is the reason he adapted better study habits that he can take with him to college.
“I’ve really seen him become more disciplined when it comes to his studies and football,” Battle said. Now, I can see he is more dedicated than ever. I see him taking more ownership of things.”
Bell said he has developed loyal friendships with his teammates at Lausanne, who were quick to ask about him when he was in his car accident.
“When I first got into the accident, I didn’t have my phone,” Bell said. “When I finally got it back I had so many missed calls and texts from my teammates. I just thought to myself simply wow.”
Alexis Davis is a sports reporting intern for the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Contact here at email@example.com.