JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton, a former Trinity Christian star, suffered massive injuries in a car accident, including the amputation of his arm, Kendrick's agent Malki Kawa confirmed.
The Sun Sentinel reported that Norton, 22, had to have his left arm amputated at the scene of the multiple-car accident to extricate him from the truck.
Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Alex Camacho says the Ford F250 Norton was driving crashed into a concrete barrier and overturned early Thursday on State Road 836 near Miami.
The Miami Herald reported that, according to a family friend, Norton's truck was cut off and wound up flipping as a result. His current condition was not life-threatening, the Herald reported.
With sadness, I can confirm that Kendrick Norton was in a car accident last night and suffered multiple injuries, including the amputation of his arm. We ask that you continue to pray for him. His family also asks that the public respect Kendrick’s privacy.— malki kawa (@malkikawa) July 4, 2019
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews rendered aid to Norton, who was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center.
Many, especially around his hometown, said they were praying for Norton's recovery. Trinity Christian football coach Verlon Dorminey told News4Jax that Norton was a leader when he was in high school and has always been well-respected.
“He was an inspiration and he will still be an inspiration, because that’s the kind of kid he is,” Dorminey said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family, hoping and praying that he gets back up and heals quickly from this and lives a healthy life.”
Dorminey said he got the call about the awful wreck and then later learned about the amputation, calling it "terrible."
He said video of Norton being wheeled into an emergency room on a stretcher with his head strapped down and a massive head wound was hard to watch.
Typically, Norton is known as a happy, good-natured guy, Dorminey said, recalling one stunt when Norton played air guitar on the leg of a player he'd just tackled when he played at the University of Miami.
“He’s the kind of kid that everybody loved to be around because he was happy and he worked hard,” Dorminey said. “He was the kind of kid the teachers enjoyed. Not only a great football player, but a great student.”
Dorminey said he was just talking earlier this year with Norton and some of his former teammates who also play in the NFL now.
“We were all laughing and cutting up and talking then because Kendrick was in Miami working out and doing what he did for the Dolphins,” Dorminey recalled.
Norton, a player nicknamed Big Thick, was a star on both sides of the ball at Trinity and graduated in 2015 after helping lead the Conquerors to back-to-back Class 3A state championships.
That Trinity graduating class had 15 players sign with college programs, including 12 with Football Bowl Subdivision programs.
Norton, 6-3, 314 pounds, was a seventh-round draft selection by Carolina in the 2018 draft. He didn't play with the Panthers after spending last year on the practice squad. Miami picked him up last December.
Media reports said the accident was considered "career-ending."
Dorminey said before the crash, Norton's career was just taking off.
“We were made aware this morning of a serious car accident involving Kendrick Norton. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kendrick and his family during this time,” the Dolphins said in a post on Twitter.
Support for Norton poured out across social media as news of his accident spread.
The U family is praying for Kendrick, his family and the medical professionals helping him this morning. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 https://t.co/uYgXANF5H0— Manny Diaz (@Coach_MannyDiaz) July 4, 2019
Our thoughts are with Kendrick Norton and his family. https://t.co/NVue1SzsRM— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) July 4, 2019
Serious prayer for my man Kendrick Norton. God watch over him in Jesus name, Amen.— Chief David Njoku (@David_Njoku80) July 4, 2019