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Craft involved in two-vehicle crash; dies at hospital

STATESBORO, Ga. -- Georgia Southern wide receiver Teddy
Craft died Thursday after suffering critical injuries in a
motorcycle crash two days earlier.

Craft, 22, died at Memorial Health University Medical Center in
Savannah after a collision with another motorcyclist threw him from
his Suzuki GSX motorcycle just outside the Statesboro city limits.

"For an individual who was just so vibrant as Teddy was to have
this happen, it just sort of shocks everyone," Georgia Southern
athletic director Sam Baker said.

Some of Craft's teammates were with his family in Savannah when
he died, and they quickly spread the word by calling the rest of
the team from the hospital, Baker said. The university planned to
arrange a bus trip for teammates to attend Craft's funeral Monday
in Hartwell, Ga.

Craft, who led the Eagles in receiving yards and touchdowns last
season, was a starter since 2003.

"Even if you couldn't name the other players on offense, if
somebody said Teddy Craft, you knew what position he played and who
he was," Patrick Whiteledge, a 23-year-old pre-med student, said.
"You knew that if they were going to pass, it was going to him and
he'd make the play."

Craft was a second-team All-Southern Conference pick the past
two years. He led the Eagles with 319 yards and five TD catches in
2005 and also caught a school-record 82-yard touchdown pass in a
49-7 win at Elon.

The crash occurred Tuesday night as Craft and five other
motorcyclists cruised through a residential neighborhood. Baker
said Craft had been wearing a helmet.

Craft collided with another rider who was attempting a right
turn, was thrown from his motorcycle and struck a guide wire to a
light poll, said Georgia State Patrol Senior Trooper J.B. Scott.
There was no indication any of the motorcyclists had been drinking
alcohol, Scott said.

Craft was taken to East Georgia Regional Medical Center and then
airlifted to Memorial hospital in Savannah.


"This is a shocking, sad day for the entire Georgia Southern
community," Eagles coach Brian VanGorder said. "We want to
extend our thoughts and prayers out to Teddy's family in their
time of grief. Teddy was a great teammate, well liked by all."

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.