WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Thousands of messages of support have been pouring in for Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton after he lost his left arm in a West Miami-Dade rollover crash.
The 22-year-old crashed into a barrier wall along westbound Dolphin Expressway, near the Palmetto Expressway, at around 1:15 a.m., Thursday.
His Ford F-250 rolled over and landed on its roof.
Rescue crews transported the athlete to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center.
They also transported a woman seen by 7News cameras with her right hand wrapped.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers said a second car was involved in the crash. The driver of that vehicle was not injured.
“He’s in surgery now,” Norton’s agent Malki Kawa said. “He’s just getting his left arm, the part that’s left, cleaned out. There’s a lot of debris and things still in there before they can actually close the arm up. He should hopefully come out of surgery and be awake today.”
Kawa added that the unexpected tragedy is taking a toll on him.
“I don’t know if I can put it into perspective,” he said. “It’s one of those things where, as an agent, you don’t expect stuff like this. I don’t know if you’re ever ready for it. For as much as I thought, coming over here in the early morning of the Fourth of July, that I’d be ready for it. I’m still not ready for it. It took a long time for it to sink in. Seeing him was real tough. This is a really good guy. On the other hand, I’m just glad he’s alive because the doctors said that if this was anyone else, he would’ve been dead.”
Kawa said it’s been tough seeing Norton hurt like this.
“Like anyone, I think at first, it’ll probably hit him hard, and he’ll be very sad about it,” said Kawa, “but then after that, knowing the Kendrick that I know, he’ll put a smile on his face, and he’ll go to work. He’ll figure it out, and he’ll be somebody very influential and positive in this community.”
On Norton’s Instagram, fans have been commenting messages of support.
“Praying hard for your recovery,” one comment read.
Norton’s mother took to Facebook to thank fans, friends and family members for showing their support.
“It is not possible for me to individually respond to all the messages, texts, calls, etc. But my family and I welcome and appreciate all the love & support. KJ is a fighter!! And he will fight through this! Yes he did lose his arm but he’s got his life!”
She went out to ask for prayers for his strength as he heals and grieves.
Bishop Leofric Thomas said the Norton family attended his church in Jacksonville for more than a decade.
“We don’t know how life and how God will turn things,” he said in a phone interview with 7News. “It may look bleak. It may look grim at this time, but all things are possible.”
Norton started his football career in Jacksonville at Trinity Christian Academy.
“Even if he doesn’t get back on the field to play, there are coaching opportunities and all kind of other things you can do as a part of an athletic football corporation,” Thomas continued, “so we’re praying for that. We just want him to heal first and see where it goes from here.”
Norton previously played three seasons for the University of Miami Hurricanes before signing with the Dolphins in December.
FHP continues to investigate the crash.
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