First time since his horrible accident a week ago, injured reserve Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton spoke from his hospital bed about his traffic accident that left his left arm amputated and ended his career.
Norton spoke from Jackson Memorial Hospital exclusively to WFOR-TV “CBS 4” and certainly has an optimistic outlook despite the catastrophic injury:
— liz roldan (@lizroldancbs4) July 11, 2019
“I am staying strong because all of the support from all of the fans, all of the teams, my family and everyone. That is what is pushing me, my faith and the support from my family, my grandparents, my sports agent. Everyone is going above and beyond with nothing in return. Just to see people who have been supporting me is just great.”
As we wrote on Thursday, the Florida Highway Patrol released their report on his accident in the early morning hours of July 4th, and they are citing Norton as being at fault for an improper lane change where his Ford 250 Truck came in contact with another vehicle.
That vehicle was a 2015 Maserati driven by a 30 year old female named Jessie Pena. She and her passenger were questioned, uninjured and left the scene later.
Norton and his female passenger, a 34 year old woman named Shakir Williams, were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident, as the vehicle rolled onto its roof pinning Norton’s left arm under it. Firefighters and paramedics worked to disengage Norton from the vehicle and stop the massive blood loss after the amputation of his left arm.
He and Williams were transferred to Jackson Memorial. Williams was treated for scrapes and bruises and released.
Norton also told CBS 4,
“I am alive,” he said. “To be here, I am alive. One thing keeps me going and that is that I am still able to be here. Seeing my family is so important. It is very good that I have this support system. It keeps me strong and it keeps me tall. If you have something in the glass,” he said, “you are ok. A lot of people have glasses with not much in them or glasses that are empty. So if your glass is half full, you are ok.”
Norton is a former third team All ACC defensive tackle for the Canes (above), who was drafted a year ago in the 7th round by the Carolina Panthers. The Fins signed him off the Panthers practice squad in December and he had been taking part in the offseason program for new coach Brian Flores and his staff.
A Go Fund Me webpage has been set up to help raise money for Norton and the NFL and the Dolphins have already announced that they will be picking up the medical costs. Those costs could easily run into the six figures after the accident.
It’s also possible that the Dolphins may go ahead and honor Norton’s second year $495,000 non-guaranteed salary, as the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with the Players Association allows for leeway on catastrophic injuries that end someone’s career. Mostly, that is reserved for an injury on the field, however, it’s also up to team discretion.
The Dolphins have yet to comment on their intentions.
The FHP investigation has concluded that Norton was not exhibiting behavior of anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs that might have contributed to his accident.
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