Eugene Quaynor, a Ghanan graduate student who served as captain of the Oral Roberts men's soccer team, died Wednesday when an accused drunk driver crashed into his career, according to the Kansas City Star.
Oral Roberts confirmed Quaynor's death on Thursday, calling the student-athlete the epitome of the program's mission:
We mourn the loss of @ORUMSoccer student-athlete, Eugene Quaynor. Eugene was the epitome of the mission we strive for. He was a captain and had a spirit-empowered heart ready to impact the world for Jesus. His infectious smile will be missed, but we will never forget #27. pic.twitter.com/peL9daBkoB
— ORU Athletics (@ORUAthletics) September 29, 2022
The program subsequently postponed their next game, a home game against St. Thomas on Saturday, to a later date yet to be determined.
According to the Tulsa police department, Quaynor was at a stop light Wednesday night when an SUV rear-ended his car hard enough to push it into the intersection. Quaynor's Nissan reportedly spun around and hit a retaining wall, where it caught fire. Bystanders attempted to help him get out of the car, but the fire stopped their efforts to break the windows with rocks.
Quaynor was reportedly dead when first responders arrived. The driver of the SUV allegedly attempted to flee the scene, but was detained by paramedics and eventuall taken to the hospital. Police allege he was unsteady on his feet and appeared severely intoxicated.
Police are recommending charges against the driver to the District Attorney's office after receiving his toxicology report.
Quaynor's death naturally hit the Oral Roberts community hard, with athletic director Tim Johnson tweeting photos of the scene at the school on Friday.
The outpouring of love and support for our @ORUMSoccer program has been truly inspiring.
I'm so proud of the way our ath dept has rallied for them.
It takes an incredibly special person to unite so many people.
Let us continue to honor & live like Eugene! ⚽️🙏🏼#4Eugene
— Tim Johnson, Esq. (@TimoJJ) September 30, 2022
Nearby FC Tulsa, a second-tier team, also announced that captain Bradley Bourgeois would take the field on Saturday wearing Quaynor's No. 27 jersey number.
Quaynor transferred to Oral Roberts from the University Ghana ahead of the 2019 season and went on to become an intergral member of the team. Per the Star, he graduated from Oral Roberts with a bachelor's degree in Art and Cultural Studies and returned for a master's degree likely in sports management.