Damon Janes: Westfield Brocton varsity football player dies after helmet-to-helmet hit

(WGRZ) Damon W. Janes, 16, a junior on the Westfield/Brocton varsity football team, who was injured during a football game against Portville, New York Friday night has died.

Janes was hurt during a helmet-to-helmet tackle during the third quarter of a game against Portville. He was taken off the field on a stretcher by paramedics.

Janes was rushed to Olean General and was moved to Women and Children's Hospital later that night.

Portville Superintendent Tom Simon told us the Brocton student had suffered serious head injuries.

In a statement delivered to Channel 2 Sunday evening, Brocton Superintendent John W. Hertlein reiterated the desire for privacy cited in Kaleida Health's comments.

Monday, Hertlein did not want to speak on camera, but over the phone before the news of Janes' death became known, Hertlein told us about how people in both communities are reaching out to each other. Hertlein also spoke about how students made blue and green ribbons to show support.

"The kids are supporting each other. Our staff is supporting the kids and our kids are supporting the staff and we do have counselors in and around the school and so does Westfield," said Hertlein.

Monday, a local priest expressed how important it is to be there for those who are grieving especially since so many of them are young. He also spoke with us before we learned of Janes' death.

"We are attentive to them. We talk to them, and I think it's important to be real and to be honest and to be straightforward and to find ways that let them know that you do care about what they're going through and feel free to open up the gates so they feel free to talk about it whenever they need to," said Father Joseph Walter of St. Dominic Parish.

In light of what has happened, the Brocton and Westfield communities have either cancelled or postponed all sporting events through Friday.


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