Crash claims Adams at 19

STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald file photo

Donovan Adams, an exercise science major at Fort Lewis College, factored on the football field as a freshman for the Skyhawks. He died Tuesday night in a car accident in his hometown of Menifee, Calif. He was 19 years old.

By Ryan Owens Herald staff writer

Fort Lewis College football player Donovan Adams died Wednesday afternoon in a single-vehicle crash in his native Menifee, Calif. He was 19 years old.

Adams was a 2011 graduate of Heritage High School in Menifee. He was riding in the car with a fellow high school alumnus and two other students who were set to graduate from the school Saturday, according to The Californian. The publication reported the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said the driver of the sports utility vehicle lost control for unknown reasons and hit a pole at the intersection of McCall Boulevard and Junipero Road.

The FLC defensive back was determined dead at the scene when emergency personnel arrived at 3:30 p.m. (Pacific). Two other victims were in critical condition, while the other was treated and released.

Adams was back home visiting family and friends during FLC’s off week from offseason workouts.

“I can’t tell you how hard it was to get that phone call and speak to his mother (Eileen Adams on Wednesday night),” FLC head coach Cesar Rivas-Sandoval said Thursday afternoon. “He’s just a freshman, and it’s very unexpected – just a very somber feeling right now.”

Adams is the second death in the Skyhawks’ football family in the last two months. Former FLC wrestler, football player and assistant football coach Robert Arthur DeGuelle died of complications of congestive heart failure May 5 in Lakewood. He was 59.

Adams was a contributor as a freshman last season, both in the defensive backfield and on special teams, appearing in all 11 of the Skyhawks’ games.

Defensively, he had 16 solo tackles and assisted on six more while breaking up three passes and forcing a fumble.

He also was one of two return men, along with Jonathan Price, on kickoffs. Adams led the team with 526 kick return yards, an average of 20.2 yards per return with a long of 38.

Academically, Adams was majoring in exercise science with an athletic training option.

In his Heritage High School career, Adams flourished on both sides of the ball. He had 96 tackles and two interceptions as a defensive back, earning first-team All-Valley, All-Sun Belt League and Riverside All-Star accolades at the position. He ran for 441 yards and five touchdowns as a running back his senior season.

“He had such high aspiriations for his life both on the football field (and off). He wanted to go play football forever, but he also wanted to be an athletic trainer, too,” Rivas said.

“He was very close to a lot of guys on the team. It’s definitely just a sad day.”

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