From Christie to the Jets to the girl he loved, NJ mourns Warren Hills QB Evan Murray
Evan Murray's death was felt around the state Saturday.
There were still no answers, no formal announcement about what killed the Warren Hills Regional High School senior and quarterback — whom witnesses say walked off the field after taking a hit from a Summit player in Friday night's game.
A close friend told New Jersey 101.5 Murray passed out, woke up and looked out at the crowd before being taken to Morristown Medical Center. But later that night, he died.
As news spread, so did the condolences for a family and community confused and stunned by the lost.
Gov. Chris Christie sent his own in a Tweet just before noon:
The New York Jets, just a little while later:
But perhaps no words were more heartbraking than those of Bailey Reyes, the three-sport athlete and standout student's girlfriend.
She wrote on Instagram, accompanying a picture of a makeshift memorial, that Friday would "orever be the worst day of my life."
"I cannot thank you enough Evan for loving me like you did and filling each and every day with laughter and smiles," she continued. "You are my best friend and I knew I was going to marry you one day. I miss you so incredibly much and am struggling a lot but I know you are my guardian angel and are forever with me. I love you times infinity and always remember I also love you more. Fly high my love."
By Saturday evening, a GoFundMe.com fundraiser to help his family pay for expenses had collected nearly $25,000 from more than $500 people. Friends and strangers like contributed. Several contributions were from other New Jersey high school football teams.
Evan Murray — who also played basketball and baseball — had been a varsity quarterback since his sophomore year. He'd volunteered with the same youth football program through which he'd developed his own skills, mentoring children from Washington Township in Warren County and neighboring communities.
Calls to Warren Hills’ athletic director and coach have not yet been returned. But interim schools Superintendent Gary Bowen said on the school’s website grief counselors would be available for students at the Warren County high school Saturday, and then for as long as needed.
“We are deeply saddened and sincerely appreciate the support and caring of our close-knit greater Warren Hills community,” he wrote.
The school also suggests consulting with resources for grief counseling as necessary.
LeHighValleyLive.com reported that Saturday night, hundreds of people filled into Warren Hills' stadium to show their support, leaving behind flowers and handwritten cards. Some players told the site he took more than one hit during the game.
"None of (us) truly know which play he got hurt on," senior tackle Oscar Vega told the site.
The site has also reported that an autopsy was scheduled for Saturday afternoon.