University of Oregon redshirt freshman defensive back Todd Lamar Doxey died Sunday evening at Sacred Heart Medical Center following a swimming accident on the McKenzie River.
The 19-year-old Doxey had joined several of his teammates on Sunday afternoon to float down the McKenzie River. Most of the participants had started down the river in inner-tubes when Doxey apparently decided to jump off the Marcola Road Bridge according to Lane County Sheriff's reports. According to reports, Doxey swam some distance before experiencing problems in the water. His teammates were already downriver and were unable to reach him to render assistance. Another boat coming down the river was able to retrieve Doxey. The accident occurred at approximately 3:15 p.m. Doxey was transported to McKenzie-Willamette Hospital at 3:55 p.m., and was later transferred to Sacred Heart Medical Center at 6:25 p.m. Doxey was pronounced dead at Sacred Heart at 8:06 p.m. Sunday.
“This is a heartbreaking situation for Todd’s family, friends, teammates and classmates,” said University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer. “We extend our deepest sympathies to everyone touched by this terrible accident.”
University of Oregon officials have been in contact with Doxey’s family in San Diego, Calif. and are working to help arrange travel to Eugene. Doxey graduated from Hoover High School in San Diego, where he was rated among the top college prospects in California in 2006 and finished as the San Diego Country' all-time leading receiver. He accumulated 85 tackles and six interceptions his senior year to garner votes on the Long Beach Press-Telegram's Best in the West list.
As a true freshman a year ago, Doxey garnered scout team player-of-the-week accolades for four consecutive weeks during Oregon's four-game winning streak.
"Anytime a young man or woman dies, it is a tragedy," Oregon head football coach Mike Bellotti said. "It's hard to understand why. My heart goes out to his family, to our players, some whom were there and some who will find out about it, and it's just one of those things we don't have answers for.
"I understand that people did everything that they could -- the paramedics, the ambulance, the doctors and the players who were there. It's obviously a very helpless feeling for me not to be there," added Bellotti, who was previously scheduled to return to Eugene Monday after concluding his vacation in California. "Hopefully everybody comes away with a greater appreciation for the gifts they're blessed with and come away with the lessons that we can never be too cautious."