August 18, 2016
On July 29, three McEachern High School football players were injured in a crash following that day’s practice. The players involved in the accident were juniors Sydney Okafor, Justin Powell and senior Carlton Bates.
Powell was driving Okafor and Bates home after practice. The pouring rain made it hard for drivers to see each other on the road. Powell and his friends turned onto the intersection of Lewis and Meadow Roads, they were t-boned on the driver’s side.
Bates’ injuries were minimal, with a scratch on the forehead. Okafor had a broken tailbone, four pelvis fractures and a broken leg. Powell was unfortunately left with the loss of his left eye.
Despite the fact that the young men were all seriously injured, they managed to stay positive.
“Even though I lost an eye, I won’t let it stop me from doing anything,” Powell said.
His strong faith in the Lord has kept him strong through it all. He has also had the support of his girlfriend and other close friends.
“I was shocked when I heard about what happened, but I knew Justin was gonna be OK because he is very strong” Austin Jones, Powell’s best friend, said.
Justin has been know to be a very persistent and strong-willed person.
“I was just glad to be alive and I wasn’t really worried for myself but more for my friends,” Okafor said.
Sydney couldn’t help but to think of his friends who were two rooms down in the hospital.
Several McEachern players went to visit their teammates while they were in the hospital. “I didn’t even talk about the accident. I just wanted to see my friends,” junior Malik Evans said.