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Two High School Athletes in Serious Condition After Watchung NJ Crash

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Posted on Feb 07, 2014

Although Archdiocese of Newark spokesman Jim Goodness attempted to keep the information private, an outpouring of sympathy on Twitter revealed the identities of two Union Catholic high school basketball players who were injured in a Watchung, NJ car accident.

Goodness acknowledged that two students had been injured the day after the crash occurred, but declined giving more information in an attempt to respect the students’ privacy.

"Because we are trying to respect the privacy of the family and the students, we are not providing any other information or statement except that our prayers are certainly for them,” Goodness said. “We are praying for them at this time."

However, details of the crash soon began appearing in multiple tweets from the Union Catholic athletics Twitter account (@UCvikings), including the names of the two injured players: Ashton Lofton and David Hawthorne. A spokesperson at University Hospital confirmed that both students are currently admitted at the hospital, but did not release details of their condition.

A day later, Union Catholic junior varsity coach Aaron Desir was able to address questions about the accident. According to Desir, Lofton and Hawthorne were traveling on Route 22 in Watchung on January 14. The two high school students were driving home from Union Catholic's triumph over Rahway that evening when the steering wheel apparently locked up, sending the vehicle over the median and into oncoming traffic.

Desir has said that Lofton suffered a broken pelvis in the crash and Hawthorne was placed in a medically-induced coma to lessen the effects of brain swelling. Hawthorne also sustained a broken leg in the accident.

Police reports have indicated that other Union Catholic students may also have been in the vehicle, but their names have not been released.

The staff at MFR Law Office would like to join the victims’ family and friends in wishing the students a speedy recovery.

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