Oklahoma State football team helping grieving community


STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State’s football players and coaches are busy helping their grieving community after the deadly car crash at the school’s homecoming parade.

Four people were killed and many more injured Saturday when a woman drove into a crowd.

The Cowboys are participating in vigils and visiting injured people in hospitals. On Monday night, they took a bus trip to hospitals in Oklahoma City to see some air-lifted victims.

“We have opportunities for our players to be involved with the families that have been affected,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “We have given them information that they would need if they want to be involved, and some of them have already reached out and have made contact with some of the victims of the crash and their families. They want to support the people as best they can.”

Oklahoma State (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) defeated Kansas, 58-10, hours after the incident Saturday.

“It’s a tragedy that it happened at all, but for it to happen at a celebration during our parade, with families coming out to have a good time, it’s just real terrible,” linebacker Devante Averette said. “We care about our community, so a lot of guys are going to the hospitals, reaching out to the families. We just want to show them that we’re here for them.”

Backup quarterback J.W. Walsh, who accounted for five touchdowns Saturday, noted that the players will have the victims in mind as the season continues.

“I think the whole season will mean a little bit more,” Walsh said. “Those people came here to support the school on homecoming and, when something like that happens, it’s very sad and makes everything mean just a little bit more.”

Walsh also noted how impressed he was with the way everyone has rallied together.

“To be able to heal, you’ve got to be able to remember the people that you lost and the people that you love, and I think the whole community — the school, our team, other sports, we’re doing a good job of having each other’s back, and I think we’re going to continue to do that,” Walsh said.

“It’s a very cool sight to see all these people here to come pay their respects. Most of those people don’t know anybody that got injured or that was in the accident, but because we’re all Oklahoma State, we’re all family, and we’re all together to pay our respects and show that we love each other.”

John Tranchina

Associated Press

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