NCAA volleyball players die in a car crash with daughters

Laney Spradlin, Writer

Missouri car accident on Friday, February 14th hit home for Tyler Wills, Marian University’s head coach in men’s volleyballTwo former NCAA volleyball stars were driving their daughters to a volleyball tournament in Kanas City when their car was involved in a horrible car accident. According to reports from CNN,  they were on Interstate 64 in St. Charles County, Missouri40 miles northwest of St. Louis, when truck traveled off the road into a cable barrier that overturned before striking their car. Lesley Prather and one of the 12-year-old daughters were pronounced dead on the scene. Carrie McCaw and the other 12-year-old later died at the hospital. It was reported that the pickup driver suffered minor injuries. 

Coach Tyler Wills knew both star volleyball players. According to Wills, “Carrie was a former player at Syracuse and her best friend was his boss and head coach at the University of Louisville.” Wills describes Carrie as “a fierce competitor and super outgoing, fun-loving person.”   

Wills met Lesley’s through her sister. Wills knew Lesley had just become a firefighter and was a star player at the University of Louisville. Also, mentioned by Wills, “Lesley was the underdog, only reach a height of 58.” However, that didn’t matter because Wills also stated that it was her speed and grit that helped her surpass everyone.       

Their daughters played volleyball in a traveling league and in school. According to Wills, they were kids who were “bubbly and good athletes.” Wills stated that “both kids would soak up everything and wanted to touch the ball more and more.”  

Sports will always be great and fun to be part of, but just remember sports will not always be a part of your life. Coach Wills explainthat experiences and competitions in sport push you to be better and once you graduate and reflect on your graduation it put things into perspective. “The friendships you gain, the memories you make, the battles you endure, the impact you have, the teamwork is what sticks out.  Carrie and Lesley embodied those values, as moms, as competitors, as professionals, and as people.”