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Former Buford football standout dies from injuries sustained in accident
Durden played on 2007 and 2008 state championship teams
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The Buford High family learned Thursday that one of their own had died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident last week. Twenty-one-year old Devin Durden, a 2009 Buford graduate, died from injuries early Thursday morning, eight days after he was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle on Sept. 26 near the intersection of Highway 20 and Gravel Springs Roads near the Mall of Georgia.

Durden was a member of the Wolves’ Class AA state championship football teams in 2007 and 2008 at Buford High, and also played basketball. He was a three-year member of the Air Force Academy football team, and was in the process of enlisting in the military, according to a story in the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The Durden family is a valued and respected part of the school’s community. His father, Gene Durden, is the basketball coach for the Lady Wolves. Devin is survived by a brother, Christian, who graduated from Buford last year, along with twin siblings, Coby and Danielle Durden, both seniors at Buford this year.

Family friend Stuart Hall, an assistant coach for Gene Durden, says that Devin was loved by all that he met.

“Devin had such a big personality and never met a stranger,” Hall said. “He was so full of life and joy.”

At the time of the accident, Durden was immediately airlifted to Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville. Doctors performed the first surgery to try and stabilize his spine the following day, which is when it was determined he would be paralyzed from the waist down.

By Sunday, doctors felt that Durden had stabilized and had even started to wean him from a respirator, Hall said.

That same day, Durden even recognized his brother in the hospital room, saying the words “Christian” and “let’s go home.”

However, on Tuesday Devin’s condition was changed to critical when he developed pneumonia in both lungs, among other injuries that were sustained in the accident.

Durden is the third member of the Buford High athletic community to die in 2012. Last month, basketball player Adam Smith collapsed during basketball conditioning and later died. In January, Buford teacher and assistant football coach Ryan Daniel passed away after collapsing in an early-morning pickup basketball game at the school.