1 dead after crash involving former Hawks star

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CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - One person is dead after a crash that shut down traffic on a Clayton County highway Friday afternoon.

Among the victims was former Atlanta Hawks star Daron Oshay "Mookie" Blaylock, according to Jonesboro Police Chief Franklin Allen. He said Blaylock was originally reported to be on life support. Blaylock's condition has been upgraded from critical to serious.

Officers are trying to figure out why Blaylock went into oncoming traffic on Tara Boulevard near North Avenue after 1 p.m.

Jonesboro police said Blaylock was northbound on Tara Boulevard and then went through the median and crashed head-on into a van carrying a husband and wife. The couple and Blaylock were taken to Atlanta Medical Center.

Officers said the van was so mangled, it was difficult for emergency responders to get one of the injured passengers out. She was airlifted to the hospital.

Another driver on the road said she barely missed the SUV.

"He crossed over the median directly in front of me. I swerved in a split second and he hit them on the side of me, and he flipped over in the ditch," Nicoby Williams said. "He hit them because I swerved out of the way."

Blaylock's wife told police he was having trouble with seizures.

Police said the male in the van, Frankie Murphy, has been discharged from the hospital with no injuries. The police said the other person injured in the wreck, Monica Murphy, also in the minivan, had to have two surgeries throughout the evening, but died from her injuries late Friday night.

Blaylock, a point guard, played 13 seasons in the NBA, including with the Atlanta Hawks from 1992 to 1999. A two-time first-team pick for the NBA's All-Defensive Team, Blaylock finished with career averages of 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game and appeared in the 1994 All-Star game.

The Hawks traded Blaylock in summer 1999 in a three-player deal that allowed Atlanta to later draft Jason Terry with the 10th overall pick. It was a move that caught Blaylock by surprise, he previously said.

"It was very shocking, " he said in an interview at the time, "especially when you're with a team that long and you think you're one of the guys that's going to be around and you're going to end your career there. But that's part of the business. I know that's how it goes."

Address records show Blaylock lives in Zebulon in Pike County.

The Texas native played college basketball at the University of Oklahoma.

Blaylock has an outstanding warrant in Spalding County for failure to appear on DUI and drug charges.