On Monday, August 22, 2023, a drunk driver struck and murdered Ben Kredich, the son of Tennessee Director of Swimming & Diving Matt Kredich, while he was strolling on a sidewalk close to the University of Tennessee campus. He was 24 at the time.
Who Was Ben Kredich?
Young Ben Kredich was a musician who had autism and a love of music. He received a music degree from the University of Tennessee and performed the piano in nearby assisted care facilities. He also took part in the UT FUTURE program, which enables college enrollment at UT Knoxville and the development of independent living skills for students with intellectual and developmental challenges.
|Personal Information||Name: Ben Kredich
Date of Birth: June 16, 1999
Date of Death: August 21, 2023
Cause of Death: Vehicular homicide
Place of Birth: Knoxville, Tennessee
Place of Residence: Knoxville, Tennessee
|Family Information||Father: Matt Kredich, director of swimming and diving at Tennessee
Mother: Kim Kredich, choral conductor and founder of Joyful Noise Community Choir
Brothers: Miles Kredich and Coleman Kredich, senior at UT majoring in special education
|Education Information||High School: West High School, Knoxville
College: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Music, 2021
Program: UT FUTURE program, a program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities
|Career Information||Occupation: Piano player at local assisted living centers
Achievements: Composed and performed his own music, played by ear, learned various genres and styles of music, played at various venues such as churches, schools, weddings, and funerals
|Interests and Hobbies||Music, piano, singing, choir, swimming, movies, books, animals, nature|
|Personality and Character||Friendly, kind, supportive, encouraging, positive, humorous, playful, courageous, independent, resilient, creative, talented|
|Advocacy and Impact||Advocated for the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities
Inspired many people with his music and his story
Mentored and helped other students in the UT FUTURE program
Touched many lives with his joy and his gift
Family and Parents
Ben was one of Matt and Kim Kredich’s three children. Kim is a choral conductor who has devoted most of her life to helping with disabled children, and Matt is the head coach of the Tennessee swimming and diving team. Ben’s parents, brothers Miles and Coleman, and grandparents all remain.
Autism just seems like an adjective. He was always my brother; he wasn’t my brother with autism. He was always a friend; he wasn’t someone’s friend with autism. And that was pretty incredible.
How did Ben Kredich Pass Away?
Around 3:30 pm on Monday, while Ben Kredich was out on a stroll along Kingston Pike, Shannon Walker, 44, of Maryville, Tennessee, struck him with her vehicle. Around 1:55 p.m., American Medical Response had earlier attended to Walker after discovering him unconscious in his car.
He was given Narcan and brought to a nearby hospital, where he was eventually released around 3:20 p.m. After the collision, police discovered many drugs in Walker’s car, including what they believe to be heroin. Walker has been detained and is facing homicide by vehicle and DUI charges.
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How has the Community Reacted to Ben Kredich’s Death?
In response to Ben Kredich’s passing, the Tennessee swimming and diving community has voiced its sorrow and loss. On Tuesday, a statement about Ben’s passing was made by the program.
Our Tennessee swimming & diving family is heartbroken following the tragic loss of Matt and Kim’s son, Ben. We offer our prayers, support, and presence to lift up the Kredich family amidst our collective sorrow and grief. We know the entire University of Tennessee community joins us in mourning and memorializing a beautiful soul who touched many, many lives and will never be forgotten.
Danny White, vice chancellor and director of athletics, also released a statement.
Our hearts ache as an athletics department and are filled with sorrow in regards to the tragic and senseless death of Ben Kredich, son of Matt and Kim. We ask all of Vol Nation to keep the Kredich family in their thoughts and prayers. May God rest Ben’s beautiful soul.
Using the hashtag #BenStrong, many people posted their condolences and memories of Ben on social media.
What can we learn from Ben Kredich’s life?
Ben Kredich’s life served as evidence of his delight and love of music. Despite having autism, he overcame numerous difficulties and shown his talent and kindness to everyone he encountered. He made it possible for other UT Knoxville students with impairments to follow their aspirations. His bravery and spirit served as an example for his family, friends, and community.
Ben’s example may teach us how to value life, follow our passions, assist those in need, be kind and respectful, adore our loved ones, and celebrate diversity and inclusion.
Who is Ben Kredich?
Ben Kredich is a 24-year-old Knoxville man who graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in music
How did Ben Kredich die?
Ben Kredich was killed by Shannon Walker on Monday afternoon after being struck by a vehicle in Knoxville.
When was Ben Kredich born?
He was born on June 16, 1999.
How old was Ben Kredich?
He was just 24 years old at the time of his death.
Who are Ben Kredich’s parents?
Matt Kredich, director of swimming and diving at Tennessee and Kim Kredich, choral conductor and founder of Joyful Noise Community Choir.