How about a little bit of positive news, for once, involving your favorite sport of college football?
Just as Clemson was finishing up practice Tuesday night, as Dabo Swinney was addressing the team before releasing them, a car crash happened approximately 300 yards from the defending national champions’ practice facilities. Not only could the players, coaches and staffers hear the original crash, they could also hear a vehicle sliding down a hill toward the Seneca River.
That’s when everyone within earshot jumped into action. From a school’s press release on the incident:
[A]ll Clemson players, coaches, and personnel rushed to the edge of the river. Sports Medicine Assistant Scott Crowthers, student athletic trainer Bailey Black, student managers Jack Wardlaw and Jack Sari, student coach Daniel Boyd and student videographer Eric Suttles, all swam across the river to reach [accident victim Clary] Miles. Boyd and Suttles are military veterans.
Graduate assistant athletic trainer Rachel Alterio and student athletic trainer Ana Wright also went to the scene to provide help in removing Miles from the car and onto land. The students stayed with Miles until EMS personnel arrived.
Coach Dabo Swinney gathered his team in prayer while the students removed Miles from the car and the team remained at the scene until an ambulance took him to the hospital.
“When we got to the edge of the water I think our entire team was ready to jump in and help, but I held them off (blew his whistle) to let those who were experienced in this area go across,” said Swinney.
Miles is Clemson freshman who works in the football offices and was a high school classmate of Tigers wide receiver and coach’s son Will Swinney. Additionally, Miles played on a little league baseball team that Swinney had coached.
“This accident became personal very quickly,” the head coach said.”I have known Clary since he was eight years old. I am just thankful we were out there and could get to him quickly and direct the EMS to where he was. It might have been a while before anyone found him had we not been there.”
According to the mother of Miles, who Swinney visited Tuesday after the accident, her son is in a local hospital recovering from unspecified injuries. Below is her statement:
I want to tell everyone how grateful we are to everyone associated with the Clemson football program that helped my son. I am especially grateful for those trainers and managers and others who swam to help Clary and get him out of the car. Thomas Austin (graduate assistant coach) rode in the ambulance with him to the hospital and that was so comforting. I am just so glad my son is alive.