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Burleson football player remains critical after falling out of truck

A Burleson High School football player was in critical condition Sunday at a local hospital after suffering a serious head injury when he fell out of the back of a pickup Friday night, his coach said Sunday.

Jonathan Lopez, a junior defensive tackle, is in intensive care at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

Lopez suffered bleeding in the brain that has “finally stopped,” Elks coach Gary McElroy said in a Sunday text message, but doctors are still waiting for the swelling to go down.

“Therefore still a critical time until the swelling goes down,” McElroy said in the text.

The Elks coach said Lopez had “many players with him at the hospital.”

McElroy said that Lopez and two of his friends had gone to Buffalo Wild Wings to eat after the football game Friday night.

Curfew was approaching for two of the boys, McElroy said.

“They needed to head home,” the coach said in the text. “Jonathan who played more Friday night than he had thus far this season was still excited and wanted to hang out in the parking lot and rehash the game. He wanted the boys to stay longer.”

Burleson beat Joshau 45-3 in the Friday night District 9-5A game.

McElroy said Lopez sat on the tailgate while one of the boys who was the driver tried to get him in the cab so they could go home.

“The driver, a teammate goosed it a little and Jonathan fell out hitting his head on the tailgate and then on the concrete,” the coach said.

McElroy said there was no drinking involved, and called the incident a “crazy freak accident.”

“His two teammates that were with him are having a really hard time with this,” McElroy said.

Staff writer Patrick Walker contributed to this report.

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