Originally Published: Sep 30, 2009 10:37 AM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
BARNSDALL, Oklahoma –The community of Barnsdall is coming together Friday to remember senior football player, Eddie Gonzalez, who died following a car crash last weekend.
The 18-year-old was travelling in a car late Saturday morning, just east of Barnsdall. The driver went off the road, struck a gate and crashed into a nearby ditch. The car rolled twice, ejecting both the driver and Gonzalez.
The driver suffered only minor injuries and was later released by doctors. Gonzalez was hospitalized and declared brain dead Monday at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa.
An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper said neither teen was wearing a seatbelt.
The young man’s family donated five of his organs to patients in need, according to Barnsdall head coach Bill Gates.
His team and classmates held a candlelight vigil Sunday, honoring the teen. Community members joined the students and faculty, formed a circle around the team and prayed over the players.
The team dedicated their 2009 season to Eddie Gonzalez, who started for the Panthers as an offensive tackle and defensive end.
Services for Eddie Gonzalez will be Friday at the Joe Gilbert Fieldhouse, located at Barnsdall High School. A viewing will be held at 1 p.m., followed by Gonzalez’ funeral at 2 p.m.
The family said the services are casual and those attending are welcome to wear their Panther spirit wear in memory of Eddie Gonzalez.
Barnsdall School Superintendent Rick Loggins dismissed classes for the day, allowing students to mourn the death of their classmate.
Panther Athletic Wear is selling T-shirts in memory of Gonzalez. Each shirt costs $15, with $10 going straight to the Gonzalez family for funeral expenses.
Contact the Panther Athletic Wear to order a T-shirt, or call (918) 847-2071.
Coach Gates also established a fund at the Osage Federal Bank in Barnsdall.
Osage Federal Bank
400 W Main St.
Barnsdall, OK 74002
The Panthers are scheduled to host Pawnee this Friday at 7:30 p.m. Everyone attending Friday’s game is encouraged to wear their memorial T-shirt.
Gonzalez’ jersey No. 64 will be painted on the field at the 50-yard line for the remainder of the season and his jersey will be retired forever.
Eddie Gonzalez is survived by his father Ed and stepmother Melissa. He’s also survived by his siblings, sisters Erica and Maria, and brother Bryce.
Read more about Eddie Gonzalez.