PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (ABC4 News) – Utah and California All Star Cheer teams are devastated with the loss of one of their own who died after a crash following a cheerleading competition Saturday night.
Kenrod James, who had just turned 28 on Friday, has been a staple in the cheer world for the last decade in Utah. Cheering for Macs Allstar Cheer for several years before becoming one of their coaches. Prior to Macs, Kenrod coached for RAH Elite in Centerville. He was also a cheerleader at Weber State University, cheered for Universal Cheer Athletics and was currently an athlete with Cheer Force San Diego.
James is being remembered by all those whose lives he touched as they come to terms with his death.
Macs All Star Cheer said James was a beloved friend, son, and mentor.
“Kenrod James was a friend to everyone and shared his generosity with all of us. We say goodbye to him today until we meet again,” said the post. “We love you Kenny you will always be in our hearts💙💙. We will never forget you and the joy you brought into our lives.”
Weber State University Cheer said they are at a complete loss for words over the loss of James.
“Tonight we mourn the loss of one of our own,” said in a post on Instagram. “Kenrod James was Family, a Teammate, a Friend and in his own words a Wildcat for Life! He was taken way too early yesterday in a tragic accident traveling to do what he loved most. Overwhelmed with so many memories…but our hike to the M is one that will never be forgotten. Thanks for “lifting” us up and for always being you. Until we meet again. We love you! #LSWT💜”
Recently, James moved to the San Diego area to join Cheer Force San Diego and had just performed in day 1 of the Spirit Sports: Duel In The Desert competition in Palm Springs. James died on his way home from Saturday’s competition. His team, Nfinity Cheer Force, had to compete the next day with very broken hearts.
Varsity TV posted the video of the performance, dedicated to their fallen teammate. In a very moving show of support, the auditorium was filled with thousands of people who came to cheer on the team who chose to perform in his honor.
Cheer Force posted a huge thank you to those who came to support them.
“Simply, Thank You! To our beautiful cheer community: Our hearts are truly lifted from your show of solidarity and overwhelming love. Our brother smiles down and your warmth will help us come in from the cold,” said in a post on Cheer Force San Diego Facebook.
Cheer Force San Diego said the events over the weekend will forever change their family.
“We will remember our brother daily. We will hug more. We will connect with each other. We will take each minute with one another as the blessing it truly is & We Will Do It For You as you did for us. One Love RIP #4Kenrod”
For anyone wishing to help, a GoFundMe has been set up.
According to California Highway Patrol, the crash that killed James happened just after 7 p.m. on Interstate 10 in Cabazon, Calif. Troopers said James was involved in a minor collision as he was traveling west which caused his vehicle to become disabled in the freeway lanes.
James stepped out of his car to inspect the damage when a 58-year-old man from Alhambra, Calif. struck James’ car from behind. James who was outside of his car at the time, was struck by both cars.
James was transported by American Medical Response ambulance to San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital where died as a result of his injuries.
The driver of the Honda was not injured. Alcohol and drugs have yet to be ruled out as contributing factors in determining the cause of this collision.