STILLWATER, Okla. — Oklahoma State wrestler A.J. Ferrari and runner Isai Rodriguez were in fair condition after their car overturned following a collision on Monday night. Rodriguez was transported by helicopter to a hospital, according to the Oklahoma state patrol.
Ferrari tried to pass three cars while cresting a hill in a no-passing zone at about 8 p.m. Monday, according to the state patrol. They were returning to Stillwater following an appearance at a youth wrestling practice in nearby Cushing, the school said in a press release.
Ferrari’s car collided with another vehicle, left the road, rolled and landed in a ditch, according to the state patrol report. The 20-year-old Ferrari, the NCAA champion in the 197-pound weight class last year, was airlifted to the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City with head and leg injuries.
The 23-year-old Rodriguez was taken to Stillwater Medical Center with arm, leg and head injuries. The other driver, 56-year-old Valenda McKee of Ripley, Oklahoma, was not injured, according to the report.
A.J. Ferrari Sr., said in a Facebook post that his son is fortunate.
“It looks like a miracle that he didn’t have anything broken or any long term head issues,” the father wrote. “He has fluid in his lungs that is affecting his oxygen levels and some bad bruising with some internal bleeding, so they are keeping him here.”
Ferrari has signed a name, image and likeness deal with World Wrestling Entertainment as part of its ‘Next In Line’ program. He won the 2018 Junior Folkstyle National Championship, earned a bronze medal representing the United States at the 2018 Cadet Freestyle World Championships. He was U.S. Junior National Champion in 2020.
In 2021, Rodriguez was All-Big 12 in indoor and outdoor track and a second-team All-America outdoor performer.
More Sports Illustrated Coverage:
• The Real Scandal of Varsity Blues
• Novak Djokovic vs. Australia: A Series of Unfortunate Events
• Inside the Life of a 7'6" Shot Blocker, Paralyzed in a Bike Crash
• The NBA’s Social Justice Coalition, One Year Later