NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – A Yulee High School football player is fighting for his life after troopers said he was critically injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident last week.
A Facebook post by Yulee High’s athletic director said Alex Murphy is in a medically induced coma at a hospital after the accident. The athletic director also said Murphy isn’t doing well and is in need of prayers.
A photo also posted by the athletic director showed Murphy with Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, who attended Yulee High.
According to Florida Highway Patrol, Murphy, a 15-year-old driver and a 17-year-old passenger were on a 2006 Yamaha Grizzly 660 traveling north on Sandy Ford Road just north of Daybreak Drive about 4:45 p.m. Thursday when Murphy, 15, fell off the back of the ATV and hit his head on the pavement.
“The first responders weren’t here yet. There was just a cop. So when I came up on the scene, he was basically unresponsive and was laying on his side. Clearly he had some serious injuries,” a nearby neighbor, who did not want to be identified, told News4Jax.
The neighbor said her boyfriend saw the incident and called her to come outside because of her medical experience.
“It is very scary. I actually called his mom from his phone and that’s a phone call I would never want to receive, so definitely prayers out to her the family and him because it is pretty serious. I hope he pulls through it,” the neighbor said.
Troopers said Murphy was taken to UF Health Jacksonville with critical injuries. The driver and other passenger were not hurt.
“We see them all the time out here riding around, and they don’t drive fast or anything, so I don’t think they did anything crazy for that to happen,” the neighbor said.
About 900 feet away, multiple signs are posted, reading, “No ATVs on county maintained road.” It’s against the law to ride an ATV on a paved and public road in the state of Florida.
“Everyone is just praying for him and his family and everyone wants what’s best, the best outcome that they can have, and hopefully he recovers,” the neighbor told News4Jax.
A Yulee High football coach also shared a message with News4Jax on Wednesday.
“My buddy, Alex, remains in a medically induced coma,” the message reads, in part. “If things don’t change in the next 24-48 hours, his mom, Karen A. Murphy, a very dear friend of mine, is going to be faced with decisions no parent should ever have to make. Alex is her only child and her whole world. Please pray for Alex and a miracle! Love you. Alex Murphy! Fight buddy!”
The Highway Patrol told News4Jax charges are on hold as it monitors Murphy’s health condition.