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Iowa women's basketball recruit Ava Jones in critical condition but family expects full recovery


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A recent Iowa women's basketball commitment was among the four pedestrians who were hospitalized in downtown Louisville after police said an impaired driver hit them Tuesday evening.

Ava Jones, who committed Sunday to the Iowa Hawkeyes, and her parents, Amy and Trey Jones, were struck along with a child shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday while in Louisville, Wheat State Elite coach Craig Nicholson confirmed to The Hutchinson News, part of the USA TODAY Network.

Nicholson coaches Ava Jones on Wheat State Elite, an AAU team from Kansas. The University of Iowa says it is not allowed to comment on Jones' situation due to NCAA rules pertaining to unsigned athletes. 

Amy, Trey and Ava Jones were all in critical condition Wednesday night, a University of Louisville Hospital official said. The child was treated for "minor injuries," Louisville Metro Police spokesperson Beth Ruoff added.

A spokesperson said Thursday afternoon that Ava and Amy remained in critical condition but did not have a recent update on Trey. 

Ava Jones will make a full recovery, family said Wednesday morning in an email to the USA TODAY Network, while additional updates on the parents were not available.

The family came to Louisville for the Run 4 Roses Classic, an AAU girls basketball tournament running through Friday on more than 80 courts spread throughout the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Jones is ranked as the 83rd best girls basketball player in the nation in the Class of 2023, according to ESPNW's top 100.

Amy and Trey Jones both work for the local school district in Nickerson, Kansas. Amy Jones is the assistant superintendent for Nickerson USD 309, while Trey Jones teaches woodworking at the high school and is the head track and field coach.

Nickerson is a town of nearly 1,000 residents that is roughly 60 miles northwest of Wichita.

Ruoff said the accident occurred just before 8 p.m. Tuesday when a driver struck four pedestrians at Second and East Market streets.

Ruoff did not identify the four pedestrians but said they were taken to University of Louisville Hospital and Norton Children's Hospital.

LMPD arrested Michael Hurley, 33, after the incident and charged him with four counts of first-degree assault along with driving under the influence and a license possession violation.

The Lexington, Indiana man pleaded not guilty to the charges during an arraignment hearing Wednesday morning and had his bond set at $500,000, with a public defender appointed to represent him, according to court records.

Hurley was turning left off Market Street to head north on Second Street when his car left the road and hit the four pedestrians, according to an arrest citation. Alcohol was not listed as a factor in the crash, but LMPD said Hurley told officers he had taken hydrocodone and was "so tired that he could not make the turn."

Hurley had an arraignment hearing scheduled for Wednesday morning, and it was not immediately clear if he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

As a junior this past season at Nickerson High School in Kansas, the 6-foot-2 forward averaged 20.8 points, 15.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals per game while helping her team finish fourth in the Kansas Class 3A state tournament. She also has qualified for numerous track and field events at the Kansas state meet and plays volleyball, according to The Hutchinson News.

Hawk Central's Kennington Smith III contributed to this report.