By G. Michael Graham,
A recent Highlands graduate and girls basketball standout and her younger sister are in the hospital after an accident at approximately 8:10 a.m. Thursday.
Jesse “Dirt” Daley and her younger sister were on their way to a basketball camp at Thomas More College on the AA Highway in Alexandria driving from their home in California. A southbound vehicle driven by a single passenger lost control, crossed the median and struck Daley’s vehicle head-on just south of Ridgewood Drive, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. The Enquirer also reported Daley’s vehicle flew over a guardrail and landed in a ravine nearly 100 feet from Kentucky Highway 9.
Daley’s father, Jim Daley, works as the Campbell County jailer and used to be a Campbell County attorney. He received many phone calls and texts about Jesse Daley’s condition.
“They’re both lucky to be alive,” Jim Daley said. “Jesse is going to be fine. The people of Fort Thomas have been so supportive. It’s an incredible community.”
Medical personnel air lifted Jesse Daley to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Personnel took the younger sister to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and the northbound driver to the UC Medical Center by ambulance. The Enquirer reported that medical personnel had to bring out one person per vehicle.
Jesse Daley finished an outstanding basketball career helping Highlands to the 36th District championship and a 9th Region runner-up finish this past year. She scored more than 1,000 points for her career. Jesse Daley also played goalkeeper on the soccer team and served as a cheerleader in the fall for Highlands.
Jesse Daley verbally committed to Thomas More in the fall. Her former Highlands teammates and future Thomas More teammates among other showed up at the hospital Thursday.
“We’re a family here at Thomas More,” said Devin Beasley, rising Thomas More senior and 2010 Conner graduate. “When one goes down, we all go down. When one goes up, we all go up so we’ll be with (Jesse Daley) every step of the way.”
Daley’s younger sister played softball this past fall. She saw limited playing time on the varsity as a seventh-grader.
“I encourage people to spend time with their kids,” said Rob Coffey, Highland head softball coach. “You never know when something is going to happen, even when it is not your fault.”