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Monday, June 24, 2024

UF offensive lineman T.J. McCoy was hospitalized early Friday after his scooter was reportedly struck by a drunk driver in a hit-and-run accident, family confirmed.

Just before 2 a.m. Friday, McCoy and his girlfriend were stopped for traffic on McCoy’s scooter near 2000 W. University Ave. after leaving a UF library when the pair was struck by a blue 2011 Honda Civic driving west.

Samantha Meldrem, 22, the driver of the car, was headed westbound and drove away after the accident, according to an arrest report. Gainesville Police found Meldrem in the 100 block of Northwest 20th Drive, where she had stopped the car.

The car’s windshield was broken from the outside, and there was damage to the car’s hood and front bumper, according to the report.

When officers spoke with Meldrem, she stumbled before leaning against an officer’s patrol car, her speech was slurred and her eyes bloodshot and watery. When asked, Meldrem told offi cers she had a double-shot mixed drink at Salty Dog Saloon roughly two hours before the accident, according to the report.

She later told officers she had been unable to brake when the accident happened, according to the report.

Officials took McCoy and his girlfriend to the trauma unit at UF Health Shands Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. Police arrested Meldrem on a DUI charge after she blew two consecutive .190 breath samples, more than twice the legal limit. She was released from the Alachua County Jail at about 1:45 p.m. Friday on a $10,000 bond.

As of press time, Meldrem could not be reached for comment.

McCoy’s father, Tony McCoy, shared two pictures of McCoy in a bed at the hospital with family in a Facebook post. In the picture, McCoy is smiling, a gauze bandage on his left temple.

“We have been overshadowed with love, calls, prayers and support by everyone from Coach Mac and his entire staff,” Tony McCoy wrote. “As a former Gator I’m

grateful for the level of excellence and care that has been shown to my family.”

McCoy later posted a note on Twitter thanking those who had offered well wishes.

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“I’m resting and getting stronger,” he wrote, confirming that he had road burns and some soreness, but did not have any fractures or broken bones.

McCoy, a redshirt freshman, appeared in seven games last season, starting the last four at center. He made his season debut in Florida’s 20-7 win against the University of South Carolina on Nov. 12 after starting offensive lineman Tyler Jordan suffered an injury.

McCoy is expected to compete for Florida’s starting center job next season.

Contact Emily Cochrane at ecochrane@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter at @ESCochrane

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