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Football: Jeffrey Coprich overcomes childhood tragedy to honor late sister, make it to Cal

More than 30 Cal football players will enjoy Southern California homecomings Saturday when the Golden Bears play No. 11 UCLA at the Rose Bowl. But none of them has a story quite like freshman running back Jeffrey Coprich.

“Jeff’s not supposed to be alive today,” said his father, Jeffrey Coprich Sr.

On the day the younger Coprich turned 3 years old in 1996, he and his family were involved in a car accident when a tire blowout caused their vehicle to flip on a family vacation.

His older sister Essence, 7, was killed. So was a cousin. His father, the vehicle’s driver, suffered head injuries.

“I almost didn’t make it myself,” said Coprich, who also sustained significant injuries to his head.

“Sometimes it gets really painful to talk about,” his father said.

But Coprich overcame the trauma and the family has made certain Essence is not forgotten.

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Jeff Faraudo