Former UM football player Jojo Nicolas was involved in an early morning crash in Miami Beach, and remained in critical condition Tuesday afternoon, according to police.
Traffic was snarled near Miami Beach and westbound lanes of the MacArthur Causeway were temporarily shut down after a serious accident involving a gray Lexus that crashed into the back of a truck and became wedged under the vehicle.
According to Miami ABC affiliate Local10, the driver of the car was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Nicolas was later identified by Miami Beach Police as being injured in the accident which occurred shortly after 5 a.m. on the MacArthur Causeway.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Jo Jo Nicolas and his friends and family. Hoping he recovers from this mornings accident on Mac Cswy,” the department posted via Twitter.
Tuesday morning, police said it was too early to determine whether speed or alcohol was a factor in the crash.
“Those could be contributing factors. It’s still part of the investigation,” said Miami Beach detective Vivian Hernandez. “They took measurements and that will take a little bit of time.”
Later Tuesday, Hernandez said that Nicolas--who was alone in the car--remained in crticial condition.
The accident stunned members of the Miami football community, many of whom took to social media requesting prayers for the former Hurricanes safety.
"During this extremely difficult time for JoJo and his family, our Miami family extends our prayers to them and our hope for his recovery," said Miami coach Al Golden in a statement released by the school. "He is a big part of our U family and all of us are pulling for him."
“Hate to see a brother in this predicament. Prayers up for Jojo and his family,” former Miami safety Kacy Rodgers tweeted, while defensive end Anthony Chickillo tweeted, “Praying for Jojo.”
Nicolas, who played at Miami from 2007-2011, was the recipient of Miami’s 2011 Melching Leadership award after starting all 12 games for the Hurricanes that year. He was one of only four defensive Hurricanes to accomplish the feat that season, finishing his senior year third on the team with 66 tackles and a pair of interceptions.
A four-year letter-winner at Miami, he was a former standout at Homestead Senior High, where he was rated one of the top 20 players in the state of Florida by Scout.com.
Nicolas, 24, shared early Tuesday that he was out celebrating his upcoming March 3 birthday.
"Kickin off the bday turnup week at mansion with my brotha @2Tuckz," he tweeted at 2:25 a.m.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun