H.S. quarterback who died told teammates he would be OK

Evan Murray

CBS New York

WASHINGTON, N.J. - A star New Jersey high school quarterback who died after suffering an injury on the field tried reassuring his teammates he would be fine as he was lifted on a gurney and taken to a hospital.

Officials have not yet said exactly what caused 17-year-old Evan Murray's death Friday. The funeral for the popular three-sport star and honors student at Warren Hills Regional high School will be held Thursday.

Murray walked off the field with the help of some teammates Friday night after taking a hit in the backfield late in the second quarter. A short time later, he collapsed on the sidelines.

Witnesses said Murray felt "woozy" after the tackle but tried reassuring his teammates he would be fine as he was taken away to be assessed at a hospital. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Evan Murray
CBS New York

An autopsy was planned for Saturday, but the results had not been made public as of late Sunday afternoon.

Murray's wake will be held Wednesday at Safe Discovery Church in Washington Township. The funeral will be held there the next morning.

Hundreds of people, including Murray's teammates and coaches, gathered at the high school on Saturday for a memorial gathering. Many attendees left flower bouquets and handwritten cards, many expressing their grief and disbelief over what had happened.

Some of Murray's teammates said it wasn't clear whether the last hit he took caused his death. They said he had taken several hard hits during the game against Summit High School and seemed slow to get up at times.

The team's coach told CBS New York in his 35 years of coaching, he has never seen something like this happen.

The school's superintendent released a statement saying the community is "deeply saddened," reports CBS New York.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie offered his condolences in a tweet, saying, "On behalf of all the people of New Jersey, Mary Pat and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the Murray family on the loss of Evan."