The family and friends of Philip Vogel are praying hard for a miracle. They want so badly for him to be sitting with Chaparral High School’s graduating class of 2007 during ceremonies June 6 on the high school football field. But his chair could be empty.
Vogel remains in critical condition at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn hospital.
Philip’s father, Doug Vogel, told the Tribune on Thursday that his son’s condition is “worse than critical,” but said he is still alive.
Fellow students describe Philip as a nice, quiet guy with a contagious smile.
They signed a huge get-well card for Vogel this week, and students passed around his high school yearbook for autographing.
Vogel, 18, crashed his car May 16 into a tree and a concrete subdivision entrance in the 8700 block of Arabian Trail in north Scottsdale while street racing with a fellow student, according to Scottsdale police.
Charges are pending against the other driver, a juvenile, police said.
When Chaparral principal Mary Lou Muccino informed the campus of the incident during school announcements on Monday, students and teachers reeled in shock and began rallying around Philip and his family.
The Vogel family, members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Scottsdale, prayed for their son on Sunday.
“The support has been phenomenal,” Doug Vogel said. “The community compassion has been overwhelming.”
As a handful of seniors milled around Chaparral’s campus on Thursday, they said the mood at the school was sad because graduation is close.
Many of them said they were shocked that Vogel was racing, and they hoped he would be well enough to attend graduation.
On the popular teen Web site facebook.com, friends have posted messages under the title, “Hang in there, Phil.”
Vogel likes to go rock climbing and plays defense on the Chaparral High club hockey team.
He scored the game-winning goal to beat the Salpoint team from Tucson 5-4 in December, said sophomore Hank Yates, who played hockey with him.
Deveron Carr, a junior, who was in Vogel’s computer class this year, said Vogel would bring him food from Subway or Wendy’s because underclassmen aren’t allowed to leave the campus for lunch.
“Philip’s a nice and honest guy,” Carr said. “It’s kind of weird that this would happen to him. He didn’t seem to deserve it.”