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College football player dies a hero saving girlfriend from hit-and-run, family says

A Tennessee State University student-athlete pushed his girlfriend out of harm’s way moments before he was killed by a hit-and-run driver, his family told news outlets.

Chazan Page’s loved ones said the 20-year-old was “a hero.”

“John 15:13 says, ‘Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,’” a GoFundMe page started on the family’s behalf reads.

Page was crossing the street at about 1:30 a.m. on April 14, when he was hit by a red sedan or small SUV on Gallatin Pike in Nashville, according to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.

Investigators said the driver was traveling at “a high rate of speed” and fled after the collision.

Page was taken to a hospital, where he died, police said.

His girlfriend, Jayda Jernigan, said Page sacrificed his life when he pushed her out of the path of the speeding car, WZTV reported.

“We were walking, but I was on the side where the car was,” Jernigan told the station. “It happened so fast. But yeah, (Chazan) pushed me out of the way, and he got the brunt of it all.”

Jernigan estimates the vehicle was going “like 100 miles an hour,” she said, according to WZTV.

On April 16, Nashville police said they found a Ford Edge suspected in the hit-and-run hidden in a back yard. A photo posted online showed the vehicle with heavy front-end damage and a shattered windshield.

Investigators said they’re still searching for the driver.

“Just come forward and help us put this case to rest,” Page’s mother, Lawanda Page, implored, WTVF reported.

Page was a starting offensive lineman for Tennessee State University’s football team, The Tennessean reported. The Nashville native mostly played center and was one of three offensive linemen who started every game in the 2023 season, according to the newspaper.

Chazan’s family said he was just seven credits away from earning his degree, according WTVF. He was a senior Human Performance and Sports Sciences major, university officials said, and had dreams of playing professional football after his collegiate career.

‘We mourn the loss of Chazan’

Family and friends remembered the star athlete with heartfelt words and tributes shared online.

“He helped bring out the best in others with his outstanding leadership on and off the field, positive attitude, and genuine care for the people around him,” Dr. Mikki Allen, athletics director for TSU, said in a statement.

“It is extremely difficult to lose a member of our athletics family, and we mourn the loss of Chazan,” Allen said.

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run crash is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463, police said.

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