Former University of Miami football player JoJo Nicolas has died, a day after he was critically injured in Tuesday's violent wreck on the MacArthur Causeway, one of his brothers said Wednesday night.
Nicolas was 24 years old.
“At 5 o’clock today, we regret to inform you, that we lost the life of a brother, a son, a grandson, a athlete, and a family member of the University of Miami Hurricanes,” his brother Abner Davis said in a brief statement outside Jackson Memorial Hospital shortly after 8 p.m.
Nicolas was a four-year letter winner as a defensive back for the Hurricanes from 2007 to 2011 after attending Homestead Senior High School. Hurricanes Head Coach Al Golden stood with Nicolas' relatives as Davis gave the family's statement.
Nicolas had been rushed to the hospital in critical condition after the crash on the causeway in Miami Beach. It closed the westbound lanes of the causeway for several hours Tuesday.
A hospital spokeswoman told the AP earlier Wednesday that Nicolas was stable. His family has asked for no more information to be released.
"The University of Miami community has suffered a deep loss, with the passing of JoJo Nicolas," Golden said in a statement. "For all of us who were fortunate to know JoJo – to coach him, teach him, play alongside him or simply to befriend him – we will forever carry his memory with us. Our prayers go out to his family and his loved ones, and he will always be a cherished member of our family."
Davis became audibly choked up as he thanked the community for their prayers.
"We would like to thank everyone for their support, community efforts, love, and the prayers all across the nation," he said.
Golden patted Davis on the back as the two walked back towards the hospital in silence.
Nicolas won Miami's 2011 Melching Leadership Award. He had 66 tackles and two interceptions as a senior in 2011.
Just hours before the crash, Nicolas tweeted that he was celebrating his birthday at Mansion Nightclub.
Police said the gray Lexus Nicolas was driving crashed into the back of a tractor trailer near Fountain Street. The cause of the crash is still being investigated.
The Hurricanes posted this tribute to Nicolas on Twitter:
We are saddened to hear the news that our brother JoJo Nicolas passed away today. He is forever a Miami Hurricane pic.twitter.com/smph6JsHCR
— Hurricanes Football (@MiamiHurricanes) February 27, 2014