Caleb VanHooser, a defensive back for the Indiana State University football team, tragically died in a car accident over the weekend … according to multiple reports.
VanHooser’s former school — Lakota East High School — confirmed the tragic news of his passing … writing, “It is with (a) heavy heart that we mourn the loss of Caleb VanHooser, former Hawk great, and Indiana State football player who was called home to Heaven early this morning.”
“We will never forget his contributions to our program. RIP #2. We love you.”
Officials from Indiana State University also released a statement, saying … “It is with great sorrow that Indiana State University announces that police are working to positively identify three people who died in a single-vehicle accident early Sunday morning.”
The Vigo County Sheriff’s Office says the crash happened around 1:34 AM on Sunday, according to WTHR … when a vehicle traveling on State Road 46 — not too far from ISU’s campus — veered off the road, struck a tree and caught on fire.
VanHooser was 1 of the 5 people trapped inside the vehicle, which was engulfed in flames by the time first responders arrived, according to the outlet.
Law enforcement officials say all the individuals were ISU students, including several football players, per ISU’s news release.
Indiana State University President Dr. Deborah J. Curtis called the unfortunate incident a “terrible tragedy” and said, “we are waiting on additional details from authorities investigating this accident, our hearts go out to the families and friends of the students involved.”
VanHooser — who played defensive back and wide receiver at Lakota East High — was a freshman at ISU.
Once the news about VanHooser’s death circulated on social media, hundreds of people wearing blue and white gathered at Memorial Stadium to pay their respects.