MIAMI (CBSMiami) – JoJo Nicolas, a former University of Miami football player, died Wednesday from injuries sustained in an early morning crash on the MacArthur Causeway Tuesday.
Nicolas’ brother, in a brief statement, announced his death Wednesday night.
“We regret to inform you that we lost the life of a brother, a son, a grandson, an athlete,” said Abner Davis, surrounded by family and friends along with University of Miami Hurricane football coach Al Golden.
Davis also said the outpouring of love from the community has been a comfort to the family.
“We like to first of all thank everyone for their support, community efforts, love, prayer all across the nation,” he said.
The University of Miami released a statement on Nicolas’ passing. In the statement, the University praised the talents of Nicolas, who played for the football team from 2007-2011.
“The University of Miami community has suffered a deep loss, with the passing of JoJo Nicolas,” head coach Al Golden said. “For all of us who were fortunate to know JoJo–to coach him, teach him, play alongside him or simply to befriend him–we will forever carry his memory with us. Our prayers go out to his family and his loved ones, and he will always be a cherished member of our family.”
Late Wednesday night, the Miami Hurricane football team tweeted, “We are saddened to hear the news that our brother JoJo Nicolas passed away today. He is forever a Miami Hurricane.”
Nicolas’ car, a Lexus sedan, was driving westbound on the Causeway when he rear-ended a tractor trailer truck that appeared to be in front of him. The car went underneath the back left part of the trailer of the truck which tore into the passenger area of the car.
“We had to use the jaws of life to cut the roof off the vehicle and cut the seat back to extricate the person from the vehicle,” said Jesus Sola of Miami Beach Fire Rescue Tuesday.
Miami Beach Police said they’re not sure exactly how the accident happened. The tractor trailer driver had just stopped for a red light and was starting to move again when he was rear-ended.
Miami Hurricanes, following the news of Nicolas’s death, expressed their condolences via Twitter: “We are saddened to hear the news that our brother JoJo Nicolas passed away today. He is forever a Miami Hurricane.”
Nicolas’ best game came against Georgia Tech University in 2011 when he recovered a fumble punt for a touchdown and intercepted a pass in Miami’s 24-7 victory over the Yellow Jackets.