MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – An investigation is underway after one man was killed and four others injured in a crash early Sunday morning in Murfreesboro. 

The crash happened at around 1 a.m. on East Clark Boulevard at North Tennessee Boulevard and involved current and former Cumberland University football players.

According to Murfreesboro police, the preliminary investigation shows the driver of the red Dodge Charger failed to maintain the lane of traffic, left the roadway and hit a tree. 

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Officials said the front passenger, 22-year-old Marcus Webb, of Lebanon was pronounced dead at the scene. Webb was a former football player at Cumberland University, according to the school’s athletic department.

The athletic department went on to say current football player Brandon Pace Jr. remains in critical condition, while Lamar Childress, another current football player, is in stable condition. Former football players Jamir Johnson and Jeremiah Matthews are also in stable condition.

“The boys on that football team are all a family, and in fact our whole student body is all part of a family and that’s why this has been so critical and we’re all grieving together,” University President Paul Stumb.

President Stumb spent Sunday afternoon contacting the athletes’ families to offer his support.

“I want them to know we, particularly for the one young man who passed away, that he will always be part of the Cumberland family but for those who are still injured and in the hospital, we’re there for them, we care about them, we’re lifting them up and holding them up in our prayers and thoughts and that we want to be there for those families however we can,” Stumb said.

Police say Johnson was behind the wheel.

Witnesses told officers on scene that the driver was speeding and did not have the headlights on at the time of the crash. 

Officers on scene also reported finding an open bottle of alcohol in the car after the crash. 

The athletic department issued the following statement on its website regarding the crash:

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we have notified all members of our cherished university-  our students, faculty, and staff that five members of our campus community were involved in an extremely serious and fatal auto accident early Sunday morning in Rutherford County after our football game against Webber International.

Unfortunately, the Cumberland University family has lost former student-athlete Marcus Webb to injuries sustained in the accident. Brandon Pace Jr. currently remains in critical condition while Jamir Johnson, Lamar Childress, and Jeremiah Matthews are all three in stable condition. Although grief can be, and often is at times like these, an all-consuming emotion, it is not one which we must carry alone.

Football Head Coach, Tim Mathis shared his feelings with his team this afternoon, “As a team we are devastated. We are praying for healing and specifically that Brandon’s injuries are healed. We are also praying for the families involved and for each other.”

We are all extremely saddened at this news. The entire athletic department is devastated and our campus community is hurting. Our hearts and prayers are with the families, teammates, friends and loved ones of these students.

Please be assured that while we are working with the appropriate authorities to collect and subsequently disseminate all of the relevant factual information surrounding this incident, we are first and foremost working with the immediate family members of those involved in the accident. In difficult times like these, it is more important than ever to rise together in support of those who are hurting.

Sincerely,

Ron Pavan

Director of Athletics

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The crash remains under investigation. No other information was immediately released.