Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017

Susewind memorial planned Thursday

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A standout soccer player at Belmont and a former assistant with the Bruin program, the Houston, Texas native was just beginning his second year with the Cumberland program.

CU Director of Athletics Ron Pavan remembers Susewind as a well-respected and talented young coach.

Eric was a true reflection of the Cumberland spirit, said Pavan. His passion and leadership for the game were unique and that is why he was successful and our program had a winning reputation. He will be truly missed. Our hearts go out to his family.

Prior to Cumberland, Susewind served five seasons as an assistant at Belmont University, his alma mater, where he was also a four-year starter and two-time Second Team All-Atlantic Sun Conference selection.

Cumberland's head women's soccer coach Gavin McKinney said Susewind cannot be replaced.

Eric was a great player, a great coach, but most of all a great friend, said McKinney. He has made a positive impact on me and so many kids throughout his coaching career. His personality was infectious and he made this last year at Cumberland the most enjoyable time in my coaching career. We will miss him so much and will try to make him proud in the future."

Investigators with the Metro Nashville Police Department said Susewind was driving a Nissan Versa on the interstate at about 2:20 a.m. heading west when his vehicle reportedly hit a stalled Ford Ranger pickup truck in the rear.

The Versa ended up sideways in one of the lanes of the interstate after impact, and the pickup truck came to a halt a few hundreds of yards away on the right shoulder of the roadway.

After the Versa came to a stop, it was reportedly struck on the drivers side door by a tractor-trailer. The tractor-trailer pushed the Versa approximately 100 yards.

Susewind was pronounced dead at the scene.

Juan Garcia, 20, driver of the pickup truck, sustained minor injuries and was not taken to a hospital for treatment.

Greg Sears, 58, of Kent, Ohio, driver of the tractor-trailer, was not injured. His passenger, identified as Brandt Melerine, 30, of Covington, La., was reportedly in the sleeper compartment when the accident occurred. He sustained minor injuries and was not transported to a hospital.

Authorities said a disabled vehicle in the roadway was a preliminary contributing factor to the accident.

They added they do not believe that the accident was alcohol-related.

Susewind served five seasons as an assistant Belmont University, his alma mater, training and working with goalkeepers, assisting in the planning and execution of daily training sessions, recruiting and overseeing equipment management and maintenance for the Bruins.

He was a four-year starter at Belmont and two-time Second Team All-Atlantic Sun Conference pick. He served as a team captain for three years and also earned A-Sun Academic All-Conference honors as well.

Susewind played in the Premier Development League with the Nashville Metros for the 2004, 2005 and 2007 seasons and the Indiana Invaders in 2006.

He coached in the Tennessee United Soccer Club in Hendersonville, the Tennessee Futbol Club in Franklin and the Brentwood Soccer Club.

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