Tim Tebow called Matt.
And all it took to connect the high-profile New York Jets quarterback with badly injured Shenendehowa High School senior Matt Hardy was several thousand messages floated across Twitter over a two-hour period this evening. The hashtag #TebowCallMatt swept the social networking site like wildfire, garnered a mention on ESPN and then suddenly changed into #TebowCalledMatt.
On Tebow’s official site, a succinct message popped up several minutes later thanking everyone who got him to call Hardy, one of his biggest fans, at his room in the Albany Medical Center Hospital. The 17-year-old suffered numerous broken bones during an accident that claimed the lives of two classmates Saturday.
“Matt truly inspired me,” he wrote in the tweet. “God bless y’all.”
Follow the evolution of this process at the Capital Region Scene.
Meanwhile, Twitter users continued to bang away at the hashtag #MissyCallBailey in an attempt to urge famed Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin to phone 17-year-old Bailey Wind, who was also injured in the crash. Wind, a senior on the Shaker High School diving team, remains in critical condition.
A candlelight vigil will be held at 7:15 p.m. tonight at the Shenendehowa High School Athletic Stadium to honor the lives of the two students killed in a car crash Saturday night and to offer support for the two other students who were injured.
Late Monday night, Franklin announced on her verified Twitter feed that she had reached out to Wind. "Called Bailey and left her a voicemail. Would still love to talk to her. Bailey and her community are in my thoughts and prayers #staystrong," she wrote from her account, @FranklinMissy.
The viral campaign also caught the attention of New York Yankees relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain on Monday night. From his verified Twitter account, @Joba_62, he retweeted messages of support for Hardy from @petercloseug and @mike_Tommasone.
The crash that killed Shenendehowa seniors Chris Stewart, 17, and Deanna Rivers, 17, Saturday evening has caused widespread grief in the Capital Region. State police investigators have said Dennis Drue, 22, was speeding on Interstate 87 when he veered into the vehicle driven by Stewart, causing it to flip over.
No charges have been filed in the accident.