Conant track team supporting one of their own

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/23/2019 10:03:08 AM
Modified: 5/23/2019 10:02:58 AM

After a single car accident on Saturday sent 16-year-old Daniel Bryant of Jaffrey by helicopter to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester with serious injuries, his teammates on the school’s track team are rallying to offer support for the Conant junior.

While Bryant’s family asked for privacy following the accident and Conant Principal Brett Blanchard declined to comment citing the families wishes, the track team is using Saturday’s Division III Track and Field Championships to show that Bryant isn’t far from their thoughts.

On Tuesday, coach Bill Edson said the team is doing what it can to show Bryant is still with them as they compete in the final team meet of the year.

Edson said he first learned of the accident on Monday when one of his athletes texted him and conversations began almost immediately on how they could show their support.

“When one of the kids is down we rise up to support them,” Edson said. “And we know Daniel is down so we’re rising up to support him.”

Edson said this is just one way to keep him with them.

“The most important thing is that Danny and his family knows we are here to support him,” Edson said.

Edson said this is Bryant’s first year on the track team and he is a distance runner. He declined to talk about Bryant’s condition or injuries.

Sophomore Eva Shirey came up with the idea to make bracelets for Bryant.

“Daniel has made (such) a huge impact on everyone’s lives on the team, even if we weren’t super close with him. He’s a really sweet guy and he deserves all the love and support that he can get. We’re planning on making bracelets on Thursday during practice with Conant colors that say “Danny Strong” and we’re going to wear them to states to show him that even if he can’t come to states, he’s being represented by his teammates and team parents and he’s being thought of,” Shirey said. “Personally, I think it’s extremely important to show Daniel how important he is, not only to the team, but to the community, especially in a time like this.”

The team is also making posters and possibly t-shirts.

“The kids just wanted to know how we could help,” Edson said.

On Monday, Jaffrey Police Chief Bill Oswalt said police responded to Gilmore Pond Road at the Mountain Brook Reservoir on Saturday at 7:41 p.m., for a report of a motor vehicle accident with the driver trapped. At that time, Oswalt said the 1994 Chevrolet Geo Prizm had left the road, and struck a pine tree.

From tire marks at the scene, it appears speed was a factor in the crash, Oswalt said.

“It appears he couldn’t manage the curve at the speed it was being operated,” Oswalt said. “The vehicle spun back, wrapping it around the tree.”

Debora Spano, media and public relations manager for UMass Memorial, said Wednesday that Bryant was listed in fair condition.


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