UNK football player recovering after being critically injured in crash near Thedford

UNK football player recovering after being critically injured in crash near Thedford
Preston Hall

VALENTINE, Neb. — University of Nebraska at Kearney football player Preston Hall is recovering after being critically injured in a head-on crash Sunday north of Thedford.

Hall, 20, was driving south of Valentine around 10:30 a.m. when the Ford Fusion he was driving on U.S. Highway 83 collided head-on with a motor home traveling north. Hall was trapped in his vehicle.

It’s unknown what caused the accident.

Hall, a junior at UNK and a tight end for the Lopers, was listed Tuesday morning in critical, but stable, condition at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

The names of the motor home driver and passenger, and the extent of their injuries, were unavailable late this morning. Calls to Cherry County law enforcement officials haven’t been returned.

Todd Gottula, Hall’s uncle and a UNK spokesperson, said Hall had been visiting his girlfriend in Valentine and was heading back to Kearney at the time of the crash. An off-duty Valentine nurse was one of the first to arrive at the scene.

Hall was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney and later transferred to the Nebraska Medical Center, where he underwent surgery for internal injuries.

On Monday, Gottula said Hall opened his eyes and squeezed family members’ hands.

“It’s been a tough couple of days, for sure. He’s pretty broken,” Gottula said. “He’s got a long road ahead.”

Hall, a 6-4, 235-pound Schuyler native, is majoring in biology.

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