May 182012
 
Authors: Kate Simmons

CSU freshman football player Clay Brownell died May 15 in his hometown of Casper, Wyoming.

The 19-year-old walk-on linebacker was driving just after midnight and “failed to negotiate the curve in the road, then crashed into a boulder and tree,” police investigators told Wyoming radio station K2TV.

Brownell died immediately. He was the only person in the car and was thrown from the vehicle in the collision.

After receiving a 911 call from a nearby resident, police responded to the scene of the accident at 12:22 a.m., as reported by the Casper Star Tribune.

According to Sgt. Pete Abrams, officers found evidence of possible drug or alcohol use, but it could not be confirmed until toxicology tests were completed.

“From the time Clay was old enough to walk he loved football and he was living his dream playing Division I football as a Colorado State Ram,” read his obituary.

The campus community was informed about his death in an email sent on May 17.

CSU’s athletics department released a statement shortly afterward.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Clay’s family. He was a well-liked and well-respected member of the CSU football family. Clay joined the team mid-year and had already developed close bonds with his coaches and teammates. He will be missed.”

Brownell’s funeral was held in Casper on May 19.

Senior Reporter Kate Simmons can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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