‘I’m at a loss for words’: Friend visits Howard Moore in hospital

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Two days after a deadly crash in Michigan, UW Madison Athletics reports Jerell Moore has been released from the hospital.

USA Today

Jerell, son to UW Men's Basketball Assistant Coach Howard Moore, was injured in a crash Saturday evening. Moore is still in the hospital.

Moore's wife and daughter died in the wrong-way driver crash.

Michigan State Police say the crash happened on M-14 in Superior Township, about 40 miles west of Detroit. Officials identified the wrong-way driver as Samantha Winchester, who also died in the crash. Toxicology reports are still pending.

“I’m thankful he’s alive. But he's going to need support from our community for many, many years to come,” says Michael Johnson, a family friend of Moore, who visited him in the hospital on Sunday.

Johnson grew up with Moore on the west side of Chicago. As adults in the Madison area, they collaborated on charity projects together, and spent time together with their families. Johnson said his family was set to meet up with the Moores later this week.

“A beautiful family. I mean you couldn’t, when you saw them, they were the picture perfect family. They were always together,” Johnson tells NBC15 News.

UW Athletics says Moore is in stable condition. They were both taken to the Intensive Care Unit, but Jerell has since been released.

“You think about an ideal family, ideal male role model, Howard is somebody who loves his family. Loves the community. Loves giving, loves giving back,” Johnson says.

Those who knew the family best, say the Moores always put community first. Jennifer was volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County just one day before she died. From his hospital bed one day later, Howard was still thinking of others.

“He's working on a big project coming up and he was like, 'I need your help to make sure that our foundation, what we're trying to do for the kids stays strong this summer,’” Johnson remembers. “And I walked out of that hospital room thinking, 'My God. This man just lost his wife and his daughter, and he's still thinking about the community.'"

Johnson says Moore and Jerell were stable doing “okay” when he saw them on Sunday. Moore has some burns and will need surgery, but is praying for strength and support.

“He's still got some hurdles that he's going to have to get past. But he was sitting up, talking. We cried together, we prayed together. We shared a couple of laughs and it was a tough ride back home, I tell you that,” Johnson says.

Johnson calls Moore and his son Jerell “very brave,” and asks for community support and prayers for their family.