Fatal Auto Crash Touches CSF Athletics
April 10, 2009
Fullerton, Calif. - Former Titan baseball player Jon Wilhite is in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit at UCI Medical Center after suffering injuries in the early-morning Thursday hit-and-run auto accident that killed Los Angeles Angels' pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others, including Cal State Fullerton sophomore Courtney Stewart, a CSF cheerleader in 2007-08.
Wilhite, with the Titans from 2004-2008, was a passenger in the car that was struck by a driver apparently running a red light at the intersection of Orangethorpe Ave. and Lemon St. in Fullerton.
Stewart had been majoring in communications, pursuing a concentration in journalism, and was active in the Alpha Chi Omega sorority.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Courtney Stewart and Jon Wilhite," said Director of Athletics Brian Quinn. "The world of athletics is not equipped for these kind of tragic events."
"Our campus community has come together to support and comfort one another through this difficult time," said Dr. Robert L. Palmer, vice president for student affairs.
The Titans' baseball team played a Big West Conference baseball game at Cal State Northridge Thursday. It was suspended due to darkness with the score 4-4 going to the 13th inning.
"On behalf of all of Titan baseball, players current and past, the coaching staff and administration, we would like to send out our best wishes to Jon Wilhite and his family for a speedy recovery," said second-year Fullerton Head Coach Dave Serrano.
"This morning's news of the tragic accident that caused the death of Angels' pitcher Nick Adenhart and others, and the injuries to Jon, has been devastating. Just as Jon is trying to overcome his injuries, we as a program, will try to overcome this, too."
Former teammate and current Titan senior first baseman Jared Clark said, "Our thoughts and prayers are going out to Jon right now for a speedy recovery. He is a Titan and we are going to play as hard as we can for him today, because that is what he would want us to do."
Wilhite is widely known for being a great teammate and consummate Titan. He was a career .292 hitter with 24 RBI in his four eligible seasons in a Titan uniform. He was a redshirt on the Titans' 2004 national championship team and also served as a CSF media relations intern in 2008.
Wilhite is from Manhattan Beach and attended Mira Costa High School. Stewart was born in New Mexico but grew up in Claremont and lived in Diamond Bar.
The fourth person in the car was Henry Pearson also was from Manhattan Beach and a baseball teammate of Wilhite's at Mira Costa. He graduated from Arizona State before starting law school in Fullerton. He was beginning a career as a sports agent.