Southwest senior dies after wreck, remembered by family, friends

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

17-year old triple-sport athlete donates organs to help save others

A senior athlete who plays three sports at Southwest High School has died as a result of injuries sustained in a car wreck Sunday morning on Highway 37.

Morgan

According to a Missouri State Highway Patrol report, Jessica Morgan, 17, of Seligman, was driving a 2007 Nissan Murano southbound on Highway 37 at about 1:35 a.m. when her vehicle ran off the roadway and struck a culvert, two miles north of Washburn. The vehicle was totaled.

She was flown to Mercy Hospital in Springfield with serious injuries, and she was wearing a safety device.

Morgan is a basketball, softball and track athlete at Southwest High School.

"Jessica was a great kid and good player," said Tony Eagleburger, former softball coach at Southwest who is still employed by the school. "It is a big loss for this school and community."

According to Eagleburger, Morgan was kept alive via life support to allow her organs to be harvested for donation.

"The school administration has asked that we not comment on Jessica at this time out of respect to the family," said Kenny Ferguson, Southwest Athletic Director. "It is a difficult situation and there are several things in the air and unsettled."

Morgan's death extends beyond just the Southwest community, as the Exeter Tiger Athletics Facebook page sent its condolences to the family and friends of Morgan.

"We may be bitter rivals, but our communities are too close not to feel loss when tragedy strikes either," the post said. "Our entire community sends our deepest sympathy to Coach [Jesse] Paulsen, and the rest of Jessica's family. Prayers of grace and strength are going up for you all."

A candlelight vigil for Morgan will be held at 5:30 p.m. tonight at Southwest High School.

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