Just two days after Ottumwa's football season opening win over Mount Pleasant, 42 to 21, three Ottumwa football players were involved in a serious car crash.
On Sunday afternoon, Jajaun Bridges, his younger brother, Jayqwon, Austin Brown and Alec Clark, who was on the Ottumwa wrestling team last winter, were involved in a two car crash at the intersection between Cliffland Road and Old Agency Road. All four sustained injuries. Jayqwon and Clark were taken to Ottumwa Regional. Jajuan was airlifted to Univieristy of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa CIty and Brown was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, also by airlift.
In Friday's game, Jajuan made a big interception for the Bulldogs in the first half.
"Jajuan has been a great player. We kinda envisioned him taking on a bigger and bigger role on our football team. To lose a player like that for the season is tough," Football Head Coach Zach Pfantz said on Tuesday, "We feel blessed that all three of those guys are still with us, it could have been a lot worse."
Jayqwon and Brown were both on the football team as well. At a vigil on Monday for the injured students in which the community took part in prayer, Jayqwon was there on crutches and he attended team photos on Tuesday. During the picture, teammates held up Brown's number 35 jersey as well and the team won't be forgetting their fallen teammates.
"Those guys mean a lot to us. They mean a lot to me, they mean a lot to our coaches, they mean a lot to our players so we've talked about it and we're continuing to pray for their recovery," said Coach Pfantz, "We have a helmet decal that we're gonna wear on our helmet just to remember those guys."
As of Tuesday, Jajuan was supposed to be returing home according to Coach Pfantz. Brown remains in the hospital with no official update on his condition.
We will have more information on this story as it comes out.