Though I doubt you are learning about it here for the first time, I’ll go through the motions just in case you hadn’t yet heard… USMNT and Sochaux striker Charlie Davies was involved in a deadly car accident near Washington, DC early this morning. It’s simply devastating news for the up-and-coming national team star, and it has sent shockwaves through the US soccer community.
Davies was in Washington for tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica, which [luckily?] wasn’t a vital game as the US team clinched qualification against Honduras over the weekend.
Here’s what we know so far:
- The accident occurred on the Southbound side of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, on the Boundry Channel Bridge, in Virginia around 3:15 am. The driver of the vehicle is believed to have lost control of the SUV, smashing into the metal guard rail so hard that it “pretty much split in half.”
- Davies sustained “possibly career threatening” injuries in the crash, though they were not life threatening. The striker required nearly five hours worth of surgery, which began around 11:00 am this morning nearly 8 hours after the wreck. His condition is currently considered serious, but stable.
- Davies was, according to one source in the USSF, not the driver. However that has not been confirmed.
- Pronounced dead at the scene was 22 year-old Ashley Roberta. Reportedly, Roberta was not the driver of the vehicle either.
- The unnamed supposed driver was also taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
- A full accident report has not been issued, and the involvement of alcohol or high speeds have not yet been determined.
- The accident shut down the Southbound side of the highway until 8:00 am, causing a significant back-up during the morning rush hour.
Pretty scary stuff if you ask me. And while I’m certainly grateful that Davies and one passenger didn’t die, it’s tragic that someone did regardless of who it was. Though the fact that anyone is still breathing is certainly lucky, especially when you look at the pictures of the crashed SUV. The cop who said it pretty much split in half is a moron: it’s completely split in half (see the pictures below).
And while it makes me feel selfish after such tragic news, it’s hard not to think about how this will affect the national team.
Charlie was certainly one of the rising stars in the national team, and was a shoe-in for South Africa next summer. His performances during the Confederations Cup cemented him as a starting striker, his pace and work ethic making him popular amongst the public and pundits alike. Davies was part of a budding partnership up top with… well… someone (Altidore, prove yourself buddy). He even supplied the opening assist for Connor Casey’s opening goal against Honduras during the weekend. I was expecting big things out of the New Hampshire native. His summer move from Hammarby in Sweden to French Ligue 1 side Sochaux shows that others expected much of him, too. In my personal opinion, I think the stage was set for Davies to shine in the World Cup.
But all of that could have come to a literal screeching halt in the early hours of this morning. First there are the “possibly career threatening” injuries to consider. But assuming his injuries aren’t as bad as we thought, he still has to get over it mentally. And though he reportedly wasn’t driving, if he was, he could be charged with vehicular manslaughter. That’s not even considering if he was driving under the influence or not.
How will the US team react tomorrow night? Who will the find to replace him if he’s sidelined indefinitely, let alone permanently?
The situation really begs to ask, why was Davies even out that late two night’s before a world cup qualifier? One would have to assume that if you’re out at that hour, you’re probably doing a bit of partying. Normally, there are curfews in place for the national team. Though it’s possible that the rules were relaxed with the team already qualified, it hardly seems professional. And too I don’t want to be judgmental, seeing as how we don’t have the full story yet.
Either way, the entire incident is definitely a tragedy. As a soccer fan I’m devastated; but as a human, I’m equally sad. A young person lost their life, and potentially two others lives have been completely derailed. Charlie Davies’ potential, talent and stature are just a part of that tragedy.
Here’s hoping that everyone recovers fully. My thoughts are definitely with all of the victims, as well as their family and friends.
UPDATE: Some small updates are starting to creep out now. According to Fox Soccer Channel, Davies sustained a broken leg and some internal injuries in the crash. The other passenger who survived the accident was the driver and is female, though her identity is still being withheld. Lastly, there was a curfew in place last night per normal national team protocol… which, of course, was well before 3:15 am.