A New Jersey high school football player died suddenly on Friday after being tackled in the second quarter of a home game. "Last night we experienced a tragedy in the loss of student athlete Evan Murray following an injury during the Summit-Warren Hills football game," Warren Hills Regional School District Interim Superintendent Gary Bowen said in a statement. "We are deeply saddened and sincerely appreciate the support and caring of our close-knit greater Warren Hills community."
A guy everyone wanted to be like. A true hometown hero. You'll be missed. You'll always be the leader of this team. pic.twitter.com/2u6Irlvhse
— Mark Formichelli (@M_Formo) September 26, 2015
Donate whatever you can to help this amazing family get through this horrific tragedy. 💙⚡️https://t.co/OqTjZtDNUN
— Sevian Frangipane (@SevianFrangipan) September 27, 2015
Murray, the 17-year-old Warren Hills Regional High School senior, had walked off the field unassisted after the play—but a short while later, he collapsed on the sidelines. "He was laying on the ground and everyone was looking at him,” witness Taylor Coughlin told Lehigh Valley Live. “He did get back up. He stood up with help and sat on a gurney.” Murray was transported to Morristown Medical Center, where he died.
I lost the love of my life last night. I miss you Evan and I love you indefinitely
— bailey reyes (@baileyreyess) September 26, 2015
On behalf of all the people of New Jersey, Mary Pat and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the Murray family on the loss of Evan.
— Governor Christie (@GovChristie) September 26, 2015
Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Evan Murray.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 26, 2015
Murray, the team’s starting quarterback for three years, also played baseball and basketball, and was a member of the National Honor Society. There has been an outpouring of grief on social media from family, friends, and well-wishers. "Man. Myth. Legend. I hope one day I can be half the man Evan Murray was and will forever be," tweeted friend Sevian Frangipane.
— I Live For Football (@ILiveForFball) September 26, 2015
A memorial gathering for staff and students was held at the school Saturday, and grief counseling was being offered there throughout the weekend. An autopsy was planned for Saturday afternoon, according to Warren County Prosecutor Richard Burke, but no results have been released yet.
"No one knew when it even happened. So many plays led up to it," Murray’s teammate, Austin Hamler, told the Post. "He was slow to get up on some plays. We could tell something was off with him. But he walked off the field."
Person you admire most: Evan Murray. Everyone looked up to you Evan. Rest in peace and fly high💙👼🏻 pic.twitter.com/L1HMlIIUGG
— Nicole (@nicole13smith) September 26, 2015