UPDATED: Capote Injured in Car Wreck

ORLANDO – Reserve offensive lineman Chris Capote is lucky to be alive after he was involved a massive car wreck that involved a transfer truck early Friday morning.

He spent the night in a local hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair damage to his head, CUTigers.com has learned.

Capote was trying to return to the team's hotel by the 1 a.m. curfew and discovered he was going the opposite direction of where he needed to be. As a result, he tried to cross two lanes of traffic and the median on Interstate-4 to get headed in the right direction.

But before he got to the median, an 18-wheel truck t-boned his Ford Explorer on the driver's door.

Capote was taken to a local hospital, where he had a deep gash in his head stitched up and had surgery to repair his left ear, which was basically ripped off, said backup tight end Akeem Robinson, who was following Capote at the time and who is the only player witness the whole thing.

"It was a bad accident," Robinson told CUTigers.com. "I'm just glad he's alive right now."

Robinson and the truck driver each thought Capote was dead. Even the investigating police officers told Robinson that Capote was lucky to be alive.

"My first instinct was that I couldn't believe that a truck just hit him," Robinson said. "That was my first thought that he was dead. … The driver said he was afraid to check himself because he thought he had killed him."

Robinson said blood was everywhere and that he wasn't sure how badly Capote was injured.

"When I first saw him, he was mumbling to himself and I couldn't make out what he was trying to say," Robinson said. "And then a couple of minutes went by and he just came to. He couldn't remember that he got hit by a truck and he couldn't remember that he was driving his truck. But he just came to and he was like, ‘I'm fine. Pick me up.' And I was like, ‘No you're not. You need some help.' It was crazy."

Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden was informed on the accident at 7 a.m., Friday.

"Occasionally it happens," Bowden said. "We have 108 players here. Guys do a lot of driving about this time, especially when they arrive on bowl sites individually. You're always worried about that and we talked about that before we left about being safe and to be careful driving and to not be in a hurry."

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