A star football player at Quartz Hill High School, Ashtin Dupleasis was badly injured in a crash just hours after a game when he fell asleep on a rural highway with a dangerous reputation.
The 18-year-old varsity running back had just left a game in November when the accident occurred, near Lancaster Road and 245th Street.
Ashtin was found by his grandmother, who was tracking his vehicle using an online app. He’s now facing extensive rehabilitation.
His grandfather, Calvin Dupleasis, still believes that Ashtin has the talent and ambition to one day go pro.
“All the way to the NFL, that’s what he wants still, today,” Calvin told KTLA’s Kimberly Cheng.
The running back’s coach at Quartz Hill High School, Russell Gordon, agrees that Ashtin has the talent to do just that.
“In our last game, he had rushed the ball for 26 carries for 419 yards and six touchdowns. That’s just what he brings to the table,” Gordon said. “The sky’s the limit for a young man with that kind of work ethic and character.”
The 18-year-old’s car rolled over during the crash, sending him to the hospital with major injuries.
“He was pinned and crushed,” his grandfather said. “I think because he was so big, his neck was holding up the car.”
His grandfather also said he’s grateful that Calvin wasn’t paralyzed and that he really believes his grandson will make a full recovery.
“I’m very hopeful, every single day, that I’m able to move something that I wasn’t able to move,” Ashtin told KTLA over the phone. “Sometimes there’s challenges, but, you know, like my grandparents like to say, you know, you stay in that negative area for a minute, snap out of it and get back to that area where you need to work.”
According to his grandfather, Ashtin needs to continue his extensive rehabilitation, but his Medi-Cal insurance may only cover it for a few more weeks.
The family is trying to raise money for medical expenses through a GoFundMe campaign because they believe that he can get back on the field.
“He’s walking on a walker right now, and I think it’s been less than a month. We’re going to see him in the Super Bowl one day,” his grandfather said.