Metro Nashville police said a Cumberland University women’s soccer coach was killed in a three-vehicle wreck early Sunday on Interstate 24 West near Bell Road.
Police said Eric T. Susewind, 28, of Lebanon, was driving a 2010 Nissan Versa around 2:20 a.m. when he struck a 1993 Ford Ranger pickup truck in the rear. Following the initial impact, a tractor trailer hit Susewind’s Versa on the driver’s side door.
Police said Susewind died at the scene. The Ranger’s driver, Juan Garcia, 20, received minor injuries and was not taken to the hospital. Greg Sears, 58, of Kent, Ohio, the tractor-trailer driver, was not injured. A passenger in the tractor-trailer, Brandt Melerine, 30, of Covington, La., was in the sleeper compartment at the time of the accident and received minor injuries.
Initially, police believe a disabled vehicle in the roadway caused the accident and do not believe alcohol to be a contributing factor.
Susewind, a Houston, Texas native, was recently started his second year with Cumberland women’s soccer.
Cumberland 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 could not 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."
Susewind has coached in the Tennessee United Soccer Club in Hendersonville, the Tennessee Futbol Club in Franklin, the Brentwood Soccer Club and on the Tennessee ODP State staff.