A 17-year-old varsity football player for Hopkinsville (Ky.) High was killed in a tragic apparent accident Thursday after he was struck in the head by a falling piece of football equipment, according to multiple Kentucky and Tennessee news sources.
Jayvon Corey Quarles, a 17-year-old at Hopkinsville High School, was reportedly helping move a “large, heavy piece of metal football equipment,” at Hopkinsville Middle School, which serves as the high school football team’s practice facility. The equipment fell and struck Quarles in the head, killing him with blunt force trauma.
The accident occurred before practice, at some point earlier than 4 p.m. Thursday, with Quarles rushed to Jennie Stuart Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
“The equipment fell on his head,” Christian County coroner Dorris Lamb told The Leaf-Chronicle, a Gannett partner. “He was dead on arrival at Jennie Stuart Medical Center.”
Lamb said the equipment is used to teach linemen to stay low at the line of scrimmage. A school official said it is not unusual for players to help move equipment.
Quarles was a senior at Hopkinsville High, and was a middle linebacker and fullback on the football team.
Clarksville (Tenn). Fox affiliate WZTV reported that Hopkinsville police have launched an investigation into the incident, though there has been no indication thus far that there is any reason to believe an element of foul play was involved.
“They are taking it hard,” Heather Lancaster, a spokesperson for Christian County School, said. “To someone you know, you’re a member of a team. It goes beyond friendship sometimes. They consider each other more like family, like brothers. So everyone is taking this very hard, especially teammates.”
The school canceled a scrimmage with Owensboro planned for Friday.
A GoFundMe account has been started to help his family at this link.