A former member of the Tennessee Titans' cheerleading squad died on Wednesday at the age of 24. Patrick Holz, who was a cheerleader for the NFL team during the 2019 season, was involved in a serious car wreck late at night on Oct. 3. He later died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
According to the Tennessean, the wreck occurred around 11:56 p.m near Exit 210C on I-40 east. A Ford Explorer struck Holz's Jeep Wrangler from behind. The two vehicles then traveled along the shoulder and the guardrail "for a short distance." Holz's jeep ultimately rolled over at the end of the guardrail. According to Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron, the former cheerleader was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Aaron also confirmed that the crash is still under investigation. No charges have been filed. The other driver, who had non-life-threatening injuries, was taken to Saint Thomas Hospital following the crash.
"The entire Titans organization is saddened by the sudden loss of Patrick Holz," the NFL team said in a statement on Friday. "Patrick was an extremely talented member of our cheer team and brought light and energy to each day. We’re so thankful for the time that he spent with our organization. Our thoughts are with his family and his girlfriend, Anna."
When the crash originally occurred, friends of Holz organized a GoFundMe campaign for him. The organizer set an initial goal of $30,000 in order to offset the steep medical costs. Donors have raised more than $20,000 as of Saturday afternoon.
"Patrick had a wild soul, but a heart of gold and loved all of his friends and family dearly," the campaign's organizer said. "In this time he needs our help and I know whole-heartedly he would do the same for anyone else! While we do not know the long term prognosis at this time, we know that the financial needs will surely be insurmountable."
Courtney Blair Gregory, a teacher and cheerleading coach at Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, posted a tribute to Holz following news of his death. She said that she was there with the former cheerleader — via Zoom — as he took his last breath. She also said that students and staff from the Murfreesboro school had plans to wear special ribbons prior to Friday's game. They would also observe a moment of silence in honor of the late cheerleader.