Several Clemson athletic trainers, managers and staff members rushed to help a student involved in a car accident near the team's practice fields Tuesday.
According to Clemson University officials, the team was gathered 300 yards from the scene of the accident while coach Dabo Swinney was speaking with them at the end of practice. A car driven by Clary Miles, who works in the Clemson football office and is a longtime friend of Swinney's son Will, fell approximately 100 feet down a hill and stopped just short the Seneca River.
“When we got to the edge of the water I think our entire team was ready to jump in and help, but I held them off (by blowing his whistle) to let those who were experienced in this area go across,” Swinney said.
Student managers Jack Wardlaw and Jack Sari, student athletic trainers Scott Crothers and Bailey Black, student coach Daniel Boyd and student videographer Eric Suttles swam across the river to help Miles. The school said Boyd and Suttles are military veterans
The team gathered in prayer while the students removed Miles from the car and everyone stayed at the scene until an ambulance took him to the hospital. Swinney visited Miles in the hospital Tuesday evening.
“This accident became personal very quickly. I have known Clary since he was 8 years old," Swinney said. "I am just thankful we were out there and could get to him quickly and direct the EMS to where he was. It might have been a while before anyone found him had we not been there."
Miles is in the hospital recovering from the accident. His mother, Paula Miles, released a statement thanking the Clemson football program for helping her son.
“I want to tell everyone how grateful we are to everyone associated with the Clemson football program that helped my son. I am especially grateful for those trainers and managers and others who swam to help Clary and get him out of the car. Thomas Austin (graduate assistant coach) rode in the ambulance with him to the hospital and that was so comforting. I am just so glad my son is alive.”