‘One of the nicest guys I know’: Childhood friend remembers Ole Miss student killed in hit-and-run

Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 10:14 PM CDT
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OXFORD, Miss. (WMC) - The childhood friend of an Ole Miss student killed in a hit-and-run Sunday morning described him as being loyal and kind.

Alex Summerford says Walker Fielder was someone he looked up to since they were kids growing up together.

“He always had a smile on his face,” Summerford said, “just truly one of the nicest guys I know, one of the best guys I know. Always will be.”

Two men from Collierville, Tennessee, face charges in the deadly hit-and-run that took place in the Oxford, Mississippi, town square.

Fielder, a 21-year-old Ole Miss student, was killed in the Sunday morning incident.

His 20-year-old friend, Blanche Williamson, also a student at the University of Mississippi, was injured so severely she had to be life-flighted to Regional One in Memphis.

Fielder and Williamson, like so many other students, were celebrating an Ole Miss football victory Saturday night in downtown Oxford. 

Fielder was also celebrating his 21st birthday, which fell on Oct. 15.

One hour after the clock struck midnight on Oct. 16, Fielder was gone and his friend was critically injured, left for dead by the driver that hit them, says Oxford police.

Walker Fielder and Blanche Williamson.
Walker Fielder and Blanche Williamson.(Action News 5)

Shock, sadness, and anger swept over the Ole Miss campus on Monday.

Ole Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce told students in a message:

“While there are no words that can alleviate the deep sorrow that (Walker’s) friends and family are experiencing, please keep them close in your thoughts and prayers during this time of immense grief.”

Fielder, originally from Madison, Mississippi, just outside Jackson, was a well-liked member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, described as always having a smile on his face.

Sigma Chi International Fraternity provided the following statement about Fielder:

“Sigma Chi International Fraternity grieves the loss of Walker Fielder, a well-loved and admired member of both our chapter and the student community at the University of Mississippi. Our collective thoughts and prayers are with the Fielder family, and especially the several family members who are also devoted members of Sigma Chi, during this time of great sorrow. We hope that answers about this tragedy may be found swiftly and some peace may be brought to his family as a result. Finally, we send our best wishes to Ms. Blanche Williamson as she works through her recovery.”

Oxford police say Fielder and Williamson had no contact with the suspects prior to the incident.

“I really do hope the guys who did this get justice,” Ole Miss student Andrew Simmons told Action News 5. “You know? And hopefully, they’ll see the inside of a cell for at least a few years.”

Williamson, a sophomore at the school and a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, is from Raleigh, North Carolina.

Her family, as of late Monday, asked for privacy after releasing the following statement:

“We are grateful for the outpouring of love and concern we have received since the tragic events of Sunday morning in Oxford. We send our deepest condolences to the Fielder family for their incalculable loss. Our daughter, Blanche, was heartbroken to learn of the death of her dear friend, Walker. While she was seriously injured, she should make a full recovery. We want to thank the town of Oxford, the University of Mississippi community, law enforcement, first responders, and the medical teams at Baptist Memorial North Mississippi and Regional One Medical Center in Memphis for their excellent care. Thank you for the many messages of love and for your prayers. We respectfully ask for privacy during this time of grief and healing.”

Oxford police say Fielder and Williamson were hit by a green pickup truck early Sunday morning, around 1:15 a.m., in the parking lot behind Oxford City Hall.

Two suspects are now in custody. 18-year-old Tristan Holland, a Collierville High student, was arrested in Shelby County on Sunday.

He faces a charge of accessory after the fact and is awaiting extradition to Oxford.

The driver, 24-year-old Seth Rokitka, is also from Collierville.

He now faces manslaughter and DUI charges.

He turned himself into the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department Monday morning after his truck was found in Marshall County.

Fielder’s funeral is this Wednesday, Oct. 19 in Jackson, Mississippi: Walker Fielder Obituary - Ridgeland, MS (dignitymemorial.com)

Holland is scheduled to appear in a Shelby County courtroom on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

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