Southeast soccer player in critical condition after accident

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Herndon (Meg)

Southeast Missouri State soccer players and coaches will take the field with heavy hearts today when the team hosts Evansville at 6:30 p.m.

Associate head coach Paul Nelson said the Redhawks' thoughts and prayers will be with senior defender Meg Herndon, who was critically injured in a scooter accident Sunday.

"They're pretty shook up," Nelson said. "It's just a difficult situation. We're all praying for her."

The scooter Herndon was driving collided with a full-size four-by-four pickup truck at the intersection of Sprigg Street and Normal Avenue, authorities said. Herndon was not wearing a helmet, according to Cape Girardeau Police Department spokesman Darin Hickey, who noted that the protective gear is not required for scooter riders in Missouri.

Herndon was airlifted to Barnes-Jewish hospital in St. Louis and underwent surgery, according to a hospital official. No details of the operation were available.

Herndon has swelling on her brain and is not responsive to people, according to posts on a caringbridge.org website created in Herndon's name.

Southeast issued a statement from athletic director Mark Alnutt on Monday afternoon that confirmed Herndon was in the accident. Her name had not been released in the original accident report Sunday.

"The Southeast Missouri State University campus community was saddened to learn of the serious vehicular accident that occurred Sunday afternoon near the campus," Alnutt said in the statement. "I had the opportunity to visit with the student's family at the hospital this afternoon.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the student and her family at this time, and we wish her a full and complete recovery."

Herndon, a graduate of Rockwood Summit High School in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton, Mo., has been a key contributor for the Redhawks the past four years.

Herndon has played in 55 games during her Southeast career and made 39 starts. She started all seven games this season and started all 19 contests last year as the Redhawks won the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season championship.

Herndon, a nursing major, has also excelled academically, being named a Southeast Scholar-Athlete and to the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll.

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