Former UK player Kerry Benson among victims of fatal crash - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Former UK player Kerry Benson among victims of fatal crash

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Kerry Benson was a star basketball player for PRP before walking on at the University of Kentucky. Kerry Benson was a star basketball player for PRP before walking on at the University of Kentucky.
Kerry Benson and dancer Germina Cruz were killed in a single-vehicle accident Monday night. Kerry Benson and dancer Germina Cruz were killed in a single-vehicle accident Monday night.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A former UK basketball player and PRP standout is one of two people killed in a Louisville car crash.

The Jefferson County Coroner's Office identified 24-year-old Kerry Benson and 23-year-old Germina Cruz as the victims of a fatal car crash late Monday night.

Kerry Benson's basketball career took flight on the court at Pleasure Ridge Park High School.

"He loved PRP, he loved the staff, students the game," said his mother, Kelly Benson.

His love of the game eventually led him to the University of Kentucky.

"He just always wanted to go to UK and play for UK," Kelly Benson said.
 
And in 2007, his dream came true.

"We were just all so excited and we get there and Coach Gillispie goes, 'You want to be a Wildcat, huh?' And he's like 'Yeah,' and he said, 'Well, welcome aboard,'" his mother recounted.

The memories and the pictures help Kelly Benson smile on the outside, even though she's heartbroken on the inside.

Monday night, she received the news that her son was in a serious car accident.

Kerry Benson and Germina Cruz, a member of the Lady Xtreme Dance Team, were killed in a single-vehicle accident on Taylorsville Road and Betty Lane.

Both were pronounced dead at the scene. The coroner's office says Benson died from multiple blunt force injuries, and Cruz died from extensive head injuries.

Police are still investigating and say they don't know if the snow and ice was a factor.

"I understand that they would hang out quite a bit, I don't know if they called it dating or just hanging out," Kelly Benson said.

Meanwhile, Benson's time with the Wildcats was short-lived but he still made the best of it.

"And to show you what kind of special person he was, he worked his way up from being that walk-on to starting for UK when Gillispie was there," said Dale Mabrey, who coached Kerry Benson for four years at PRP.

"He was just a fantastic young man and a fantastic player, smooth on the floor, athlete deluxe."

His life may have been cut short, but in a short time, he still accomplished his dreams.

"You would have thought that he hit the lottery when heard he was [on the team]," Kelly Benson said.

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