NJ high school quarterback died of massive internal bleeding, medical examiner says

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Monday, September 28, 2015

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- A New Jersey high school quarterback died of massive internal bleeding, the Morris County Medical Examiner's Office said Monday.

Evan Murray, 17, died after being hurt during a game Friday. He was a star QB for Warren Hills Regional High School.

The medical examiner said the cause of death was "massive intra-abdominal hemorrhage due to laceration of the spleen."

"During the examination, Dr. Suarez determined that the spleen was abnormally enlarged thus making it more susceptible to injury. There was no evidence of head trauma or heart disease. The manner of death was accidental," the medical examiner's office said.

Murray had walked off the field with the help of some teammates Friday night after taking a hit in the backfield. A short time later, the three-sport athlete collapsed on the sidelines and died at a hospital.

Witnesses said Murray felt "woozy" after the tackle but tried reassuring his teammates he would be fine as he was lifted onto a gurney.

A statement from interim Superintendent Gary Bowen said the school community is "deeply saddened" by the death of Murray, who had been the football team's starting quarterback for three years.

Bowen said the school is assessing the football schedule to decide whether to make any changes.

Murray's wake will be held Wednesday at Safe Discovery Church in Washington Township. The funeral will be held Thursday morning at the church.

On Monday, the parking space that Murray usually used was filled with balloons and flowers. His name and uniform number - 18 - were written in chalk on the space.

Grief counselors have been at the school since Saturday and will remain there as needed. The district canceled its junior varsity football game that was scheduled for Monday.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and the New York Jets are among dozens of people and groups from around the country who have posted condolences on social media regarding Murray's death.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)