DHS student killed in crash remembered


FOLEY, Alabama — A teen killed Thursday, July 30 in a single-vehicle accident on County Road 54 between Belforest and Silverhill, has been identified as a rising junior at Daphne High School and is being remembered by his principal as “a spirited young man, a dedicated athlete, and, above all, he was a cherished part of our family.”

“It is with a heavy heart that I address you all this evening,” said DHS Principal John Comer in a post Friday on the Daphne High School Trojans Facebook page. “Last night, Dalton DeFilippi, Class of 2022, was tragically lost in an unfortunate accident.”

According to a release Friday morning by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, at approximately 8:05 p.m., DeFilippi, 16, was killed when the 2009 Nissan Xterra he was driving left the roadway and struck a tree on County Road 54 near Newport Lane, which is approximately 4 miles east of Alabama 181 between Silverhill and the Belforest Community east of Daphne.

He was reportedly not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other teen passengers were in the vehicle, according to the release, at least one of whom was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

DeFilippi was set to begin his junior year at Daphne High School this fall, according to Comer’s post.

“As we all grieve this loss, it is our prayer that you find comfort in our community and solace in knowing you all shared in Dalton’s life,” according to the post. “We extend our deepest condolences to the DeFilippi family and Dalton’s friends.

“As we return to school within the next few weeks, we understand this loss may intensify and a noticeable piece of the DHS Family will be missing. We are committed to supporting you all during this season and honoring Dalton’s life and time as a Trojan. He truly made each day at DHS brighter - we hope you all will carry on Dalton’s zeal for life and love for his fellow classmates.”

DeFilippi’s death comes on the heels of the deaths in June of three teenagers in a single-vehicle accident on County Road 39 in the Crossroads community near Bay Minette.

The three were identified as “friends since childhood,” Matthew “Blayne” Shackelford, 17, of Bay Minette, a recent graduate of Baldwin County High School, James Tyler “Ty” Drinkard, 15, of Perdido, who was a sophomore at BCHS, and John Avery Blackmon, 17, of Spanish Fort, a recent graduate of Spanish Fort High School and was set to attend the University of Alabama in the fall.