AUBURN, Ind. — An online fundraising campaign has raised nearly $12,000 of the $20,000 goal to pay for the funeral costs of a northeastern Indiana high school football player killed in a traffic accident hours before he was to play in a game.
A GoFundMe account was established after star running back Derek Padilla of DeKalb High School died at the scene of the three-vehicle crash Friday afternoon at a rural intersection west of Auburn, about 20 miles north of Fort Wayne.
The funeral for Padilla, 17, is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday at Immaculate Conception Church in Auburn.
A passenger in his car, 16-year-old Lucas Oberkiser, remained hospitalized Monday in critical condition. Medics performed CPR on Oberkiser at the crash scene. A GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $4,000 to pay for his medical costs.
Oberkiser, a defensive tackle, was a teammate of Padilla on the DeKalb Barons, whose game Friday night with New Haven High School was canceled.
“You’re not prepared to handle anything like this ever,” DeKalb coach Pete Kempf said. “All we can do as a program, we preach brotherhood and love. That’s all we can rely on. In the end, that’s all that matters.”
Among those tweeting support for Oberkiser, Padilla and DeKalb were star guard Russell Westbrook of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder and television personality Montel Williams.
A police report said Padilla was driving a Volkswagen Passat and entered the intersection, where a Jeep Cherokee struck his car broadside and sent it into the path of a third vehicle. The driver of the Cherokee was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Padilla and Oberkiser were remembered with moments of silence at football games throughout the area Friday and before the start of the Parade of Classics at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival in Auburn on Saturday.