ASU swimmer struck by vehicle released from hospital

(Photo courtesy of Sun Devil Athletics)

ASU swimmer Stephen Estes was released from the hospital Friday after suffering multiple injuries sustained from a traffic accident Sunday evening.

Estes, a Pac-10 All-Academic, had pulled over to help a broken down vehicle near an intersection of Loop 202 and Loop 101, ASU swim and dive coach Dorsey Tierney-Walker said. While he was helping the driver, he was struck by another vehicle.

She said his brother Nathan Estes, a thrower on the ASU track and field team, was with him.

Tierney-Walker does not know when Stephen Estes will be back swimming again, saying he would take it day to day with his head injuries, but hopes to have him back sometime next week supporting the team during practice.

“If I had 10 Stephen Estes’ it would be tremendous,” Tierney-Walker said. “Every day he has a goal in mind. He understands the process and embraces the opportunity that he has to get better on any given day.”

As a walk-on student turned into one of the team’s top breaststrokers, Stephen Estes is one of the few experienced swimmers on the team.

“Our goal is to not only provide an opportunity for our athletes to excel in the pool but also excel in the classroom, and Stephen is the epitome of that,” Tierney-Walker said.

Estes has a 3.7 GPA and is majoring in mechanical engineering. He is a local product coming out of North High School in Phoenix, where he was a four-time state champion.

He was supposed to give a speech Friday night at a fundraiser about his experience, but was unable to make it because of his injuries.

“The team has been awesome,” Tierney-Walker said. “In fact, Friday night at our big fundraising event, several members of the team went to the event and then split off and half of them went to go see Stephen at home.”

The team’s season starts with a home meet against UNLV on Oct. 22.

Estes’ accident came hours before the death of former ASU swimmer James Rigg who drowned while swimming in a Tempe campus pool early Monday morning.

Reach the reporter at jjmckelv@asu.edu