Seat Belts Save the Lives of 4 Fresno State Athletes

February 23, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Four Fresno State football players are out of the hospital after a deadly crash Friday.The accident happened around 4 Friday afternoon on Highway 99 near Second Street in Selma.

Investigators say the players all did one crucial thing that likely saved their lives.

Fresno State says freshman Jermaine Thomas was driving three other football players and a friend home to southern California for the weekend when the accident happened.

The CHP is still investigating why Thomas lost control of the 1998 Ford causing it to flip and throw 18 year old Terren Hall from the car, killing him.

Hall is from L.A., and was not a Fresno State student.

Thomas and passenger Terrance Dennis just joined the Bulldog football team last month. Also in the car were players Sharrod Davis, a cornerback, and Isaiah Green.

All were taken to Fresno's Community Regional Medical Center with minor to moderate injuries.

Thomas Boeh, Fresno State Athletic Director, says "All of our student athletes have been discharged from the hospital- some are doing better than others physically. I met with all of them and their families earlier today. I can say it doesn't appear that there's any severe physical injury to any of the student athletes that were involved."

Fresno State says it's using its crisis management plan to offer counselors and help the athletes recover. They also expressed condolences to Hall's family.

"This has been a significant tragedy and we're grateful it was not worse than it could have been and that the other four men in the car are seemingly okay physically at this point," says Boeh.

Officers believe the reason it wasn't worse in the four players, unlike Hall, were wearing their seat belts.

Ron De Champlain, California Highway Patrol, says "You got 5 people all in the same vehicle- and the only one that died is the one that got thrown out of the car- that kind of speaks for itself."

The CHP says drugs and alcohol were not involved.

They're investigating if a big rig caused the accident by cutting off the car the players were in which is what driver Jermaine Thomas claims.

The CHP is asking that anyone who saw the accident to call them.


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