COLUMBIA — Andre L. Edwards, who died in a car accident on Interstate 70 Tuesday, worked at Centro Latino as a chef. He had a bright future ahead, friends said.
Tuesday was Edwards’ 25th birthday. He was with his friend Terron L. Davis, 26, who also died in the crash.
Eduardo Crespi, founder of Centro Latino, said Edwards had cooked at Centro Latino for at least two years. Edwards, who was a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Ariz., started working with Centro Latino in 2010, during its Vegan Soul Food event.
"You know, it’s so hard," Crespi said. "We were going to celebrate our birthdays together; my birthday is on (October) 6th."
Crespi said he spoke to Edwards for the last time through a series of text messages around 2 p.m. Tuesday. The final conversation included birthday wishes and mentions of “Tamale Tuesday,” a weekly fundraiser for Centro Latino.
Edwards was well-liked at the culinary institute, where he received a bachelor of arts degree in culinary management in 2010 after receiving an associate's degree there.
"He had a presence on campus," Lloyd Kirsch, president of Le Cordon Bleu, said. "He was well thought of and regarded by the staff."
Kirsch said a moment of silence would be observed in Edwards' memory at the school's Oct. 20 graduation ceremony.
Edwards was also a father and a volunteer.
“He was always thinking about the future and his son,” Crespi said.
Edwards was working with Crespi to start a physical fitness program at Centro Latino to help the center with its mission to keep Columbia healthy.
“He became an Internet coach for getting in shape, and he was helping Eduardo with starting a program where they were going to put some weights in there and teach people how to be healthy,” Andre’s brother, Antoine Edwards, said.
Quinchell Warren, a longtime friend of Andre Edwards, said he would be truly missed.
“I can’t think of a person who didn’t like Andre,” she said. “He was a very loving person, he cares about everyone, and he tries to make everyone comfortable. He was just an all-around great guy.”
H.T. May & Son Funeral Home was handling arrangements.
No information was available Wednesday about Terron Davis or plans for his services.
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