Clemson staffers swim across river to help accident victim

Clemson coaches, players and staff wrapped up practice Tuesday by rushing to the aid of a student involved in a car accident just a few hundred yards from the team's football facilities.

Coach Dabo Swinney was addressing his team at the conclusion of Tuesday's practice when a collision occurred on Perimeter Road, which is near Clemson's practice fields, according to the school. The car slid about 100 feet down the embankment along the side of the road, coming to rest near the Seneca River, which runs alongside Clemson's practice facility.

Clemson players and support staff rushed to the scene, with Swinney gathering players for a prayer while several trainers, student managers and the team's videographer -- a military veteran -- swam across the river to reach freshman Clary Miles.

They provided assistance until emergency services arrived, and student assistant Thomas Austin then rode in the ambulance with Miles to the hospital, where Swinney visited Miles on Tuesday night.

"When we got to the edge of the water, I think our entire team was ready to jump in and help," Swinney said. "I held them off to let those who were experienced in this area to go across."

Miles is a student worker in Clemson's football offices, according to the school, and was a classmate of Swinney's son, Will, at nearby Daniel High.

"The accident became personal very quickly," Swinney said. "I've known Clary since he was 8 years old. I'm just thankful we were out there and could get to him quickly and direct EMS to where he was. It might have been a while before anyone found him if we weren't there."

Miles remained in the hospital recovering from injuries suffered in the accident Wednesday, but his mother, Paula Miles, released a statement through the school.

"I want to tell everyone how grateful we are to everyone associated with the Clemson football program that helped my son," Paula Miles said. "I'm especially grateful to the trainers and managers and others who swam to help Clary and get him out of the car."