HAYNEVILLE, ALA. – Four Lowndes Academy football players were injured Thursday afternoon when the pickup truck they were traveling in was broadsided by a delivery truck near downtown Hayneville in what may be a case of distracted driving.
According to WSFA Montgomery, Lowndes Academy was not able to begin its new football season Friday because of the injured players, identified as Trevor Johnson, Zig Cannon, Christian Barkley, and Wesley Barber. Their school was scheduled to play Macon-East Friday evening.
Johnson was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, where he remains in critical condition with a traumatic brain injury. Lowndes Academy football coach Bob Johnson told the Montgomery Advertiser that Johnson was responding to verbal commands but remained unconscious for the most part. He was also able to move his extremities, the coach said.
Cannon was also held in the hospital for observation with injuries that include a bruised lung and released on Saturday. Barkley and Barber were treated and released on Thursday, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.
The driver of the DHL delivery truck admitted to running a stop sign on Pine Street after looking down at his GPS, investigators told the Montgomery Advertiser. Authorities ticketed the truck driver for running the stop sign, but he is not facing charges at this time. The Hayneville police continue to investigate the accident.
The crash occurred around 4:45 Thursday afternoon as the teenagers were traveling along Lafayette Street in Hayneville, returning to the Lowndes Academy football field for practice. The DHL delivery truck T-boned the Ford Ranger carrying the teens, causing two of them to be ejected from the vehicle.
Coach Taylor told the Montgomery Advertiser that canceling Friday night’s game was not a hard decision to make, as he and the players were in shock over the accident.
“I looked at my players and I could tell they just didn’t want to play,” Coach Taylor told the Montgomery Advertiser.