Jet ski accident leaves Duke football player in critical condition

By Andrew Beaton

The Duke Chronicle, Duke U. via UWIRE

Duke football player Blair Holliday suffered head injuries while jet skiing Wednesday and is now in critical condition, according to a release from Duke Athletics.

At 3:57 p.m., head coach David Cutcliffe tweeted that Holliday is in “critical but stable condition.”

The accident occurred on Lake Tillery in North Carolina after which he was flown to the UNC Trauma Center in Chapel Hill, according to a statement released by the Duke sports information department at 1:54 p.m.

Teammate Jamison Crowder, also a sophomore wide receiver, unintentionally collided with Holliday while both were on jet skis, the sports information office confirmed. Crowder refused treatment on the scene.

A rescue team responded at 5:02 p.m. Wednesday, Lt. John Howell, a North Carolina Wildlife official, said. The accident occurred at about 5 p.m., shortly before the team’s response, and the investigation is in its preliminary phases, Howell said.

Earlier Thursday, a former high school teammate of Holliday’s tweeted that he is in a coma.

At 11:04 a.m., Iowa State wide receiver Brett Medders, who attended the Oaks Christian School in California with Holliday, tweeted, “ay yall pray for my high school teamate Blair Holliday. Collided with another jet ski on a lake and is in a coma. please RT and PRAY.”

In the statement released by the team, head football coach David Cutcliffe said:

“First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with Blair, his parents, Leslie and Rick, and the entire Holliday family. The Holliday family is one of tremendous character and strength, and is truly an inspiration for all of us. Secondly, we could not be more appreciative of the care and support Blair has received here at UNC Hospitals. The doctors, nurses and support staff have been truly outstanding.”

“We ask that you continue to keep Blair and his family in your thoughts, and also respect their privacy in this time of concern.”

Holliday, a sophomore wide receiver, was slated to start in 2012. As a freshman he played in 10 games and caught three passes for a total of 30 yards.

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