A Father Killed In A Vehicle Accident Has Been Memorialized With An Honorary Blue Belt

Image Source: Joe Murphy via Facebook

Another tragic and untimely death has hit the Raines Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu family in North Carolina after Joe Murphy was killed in a vehicle accident on Saturday morning.

According to ABC 11, Murphy was struck by another driver in the oncoming lane who veered into his path after falling asleep at the wheel. Murphy swerved to avoid the car, but the vehicle still hit his car head-on, injuring his 12-year-old daughter, who was taken to the hospital. A GoFundMe set up for the family says that the young girl “has cuts and bruises everywhere” and that she was cut open by the seatbelt — it was said that she is likely to be facing a healing time of four to six weeks. Murphy did not survive the crash, and the driver who hit him is being charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

Murphy was a dedicated jiu-jitsu student at Raines BJJ, and the team honored his memory by holding a vigil and a posthumous promotion to blue belt. The belt was presented to his wife, Jillian, and the couple’s daughter, Ireland.

The GoFundMe set up for the family has raised $12,200 at the time of this post’s publication, though further donations are, of course, encouraged.

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This is the second tragic loss that Raines BJJ has experienced in the past year; about nine months ago, the academy’s owner and head coach, Daniel Raines, was killed in a motorcycle accident just a month before his 39th birthday. Daniel’s wife, Kelly, shared this message in remembrance of Joe:
“Joe was the student, friend, father and husband every man should strive to be. He and his family are dedicated students. Joe was often in the gym at 5:30 in the morning to help students in upcoming competitions train. He cheered on his teammates and attended as many matches as he could. He never missed class. He loved his family with a fervor that cannot be described. He had so many wonderful qualities; I cannot even begin to encapsulate them. He will be missed, but never forgotten. #herodad”

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We extend our heartfelt condolences to Joe Murphy’s loved ones and everyone at Raines BJJ.

January 16, 2020: This article has been updated to include the quote from Kelly Raines.

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