Paralyzed high school football player dies

Feb. 28, 2008 at 3:36 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- David Edwards, paralyzed in a 2003 Texas high school football game and an inspiration for the TV series "Friday Night Lights, has died.

Edwards, who would have been 21 Saturday, died Tuesday of complications from pneumonia after slipping into a coma at a hospital in San Antonio, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

A defensive back at San Antonio Madison High School, Edwards suffered a snapped fourth vertebra in his neck when he collided with Coy Aune, an Austin Westlake receiver, as both reached for a pass.

TV director Peter Berg was in the stands and based the pilot for the proposed series "Friday Night Lights" on a quarterback paralyzed in a game.

Westlake Coach Derek Long said he'll always remember how Edwards, using a wheelchair, attended Westlake's game against Hays the season after his accident.

"When I saw him he was all smiles, really happy," he said."I was amazed that he could be that way with his situation."

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