WASHINGTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Family, friends and community members in New Jersey bid an emotional, final farewell to a star high school quarterback who collapsed after taking a hit on the playing field last weekend.
Seventeen-year-old Evan Murray died from massive internal bleeding caused by a lacerated spleen, authorities said. The medical examiner said Murray’s spleen was abnormally large, making it susceptible to injury, CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported.
The wake for the popular three-sport athlete and honors student at Warren Hills Regional High School was held Wednesday at Faith Discovery Church in Washington Township. The school will close for Thursday’s funeral at the church.
Among those who paid respects to Murray were players from a couple of other high schools, including Newton in Sussex County, WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported. The school’s players wore their jerseys to show support.
Such an accidental death on a football field hits home, some said.
“You never know, that’s just it,” Steve Fritz, Murray’s eighth-grade gym teacher said. “When my daughter was at the game, she said they thought it was a concussion. And it ends up being a spleen or something. I guess when the guy upstairs wants you, he’s going to take you.”
The school, unlike most, had a full medical staff on the sidelines, including a physician and trainer.
Fritz said he’s received sympathy calls from as far away as Florida and California.
School officials said the football team will continue its season on Saturday, when it hosts Voorhees High School in a game that was initially scheduled for Friday night.
The matchup was also supposed to be the homecoming game for Warren Hills, but those festivities have been postponed.
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