Mechanicsburg football player nearly killed in horrific car crash takes the field again

(WDTN Photo of John Samples, Mechanicsburg Football Player that survive horrific crash and returned to the football team as a kicker)

MECHANICSBURG, Ohio (WDTN) – A horrific car crash nearly killed a Mechanicsburg High School football play in April.  Friday night John Samples took the field again for the first time since the accident.

One kick at a time is how the Mechanicsburg High School junior is handling things.  Just 6-months ago doctors did not know if he would even survive the horrific crash.  Samples spent 34-days in a coma and suffered skull fractures, a broken collar bone, femur and a traumatic brain injury.

Friday night he was back in his old number 42 football jersey and kicking extra points for the Mechanicsburg Indians.

“It shows that if you set your mind to anything you can accomplish it and this means so much because I love the game of football and it’s just so amazing that I’m going to get to do, or redo, or not redo, but get back on the field,” Sample said.

His head coach Kurt Forrest said it’s nothing short of a miracle what he’s been through.

“From seeing where he’s been and what he’s had to fight through, what he’s had to overcome.  Having him around every day is an inspiration for myself, it’s an inspiration for the kids, and it’s an inspiration to everybody.”

Doctors just cleared him this week to play in the game and the opposing team has agreed not to hit him. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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