Heartbreaking Loss: D.J. Hayden’s Demise in Houston Crash Shakes Sports World

Tragic Loss: Former NFL Star D.J. Hayden Among Six Killed in Houston Car Crash

In a devastating turn of events, former defensive back and first-round NFL draft pick, D.J. Hayden, 33, met an untimely end, along with five others, early Saturday morning in a fatal car crash in Houston. The University of Houston confirmed the heartbreaking news, revealing that fellow former Cougars players Zachary McMillian and Ralph Oragwu also lost their lives in the tragic incident.

The Catastrophe Unfolds

Houston Police responded to a “major crash” near Fannin and Pierce streets at approximately 2 a.m., where a black Acura SUV, carrying Hayden and others, was struck by a speeding black Chrysler 300 that ran a red light. The impact was catastrophic, leading to the ejection of multiple individuals from both vehicles. Four victims were pronounced dead at the scene, with a fifth fatally struck as the Chrysler veered off the road and onto the sidewalk.

D.J. Hayden

Details of the Tragedy

The police report highlighted that during a green light, the Acura was proceeding through the intersection when the Chrysler, traveling at an alarming speed, collided with it. Three occupants of the Acura were possibly ejected, resulting in two immediate fatalities. The fourth victim, the Chrysler’s driver, also perished in the crash.

Uncertainty Lingers

The investigation is ongoing, with authorities yet to determine the driver of the Acura. Assistant Chief Megan Howard mentioned during a news briefing that the details will surface as the investigation progresses.

Loss Resonates Across the University Community

The University of Houston expressed profound grief over the loss of three former football student-athletes, including Hayden, in a poignant statement. Jeffrey Lewis, another former Cougar player, is currently in recovery from injuries sustained in the crash.

D.J. Hayden

The University of Houston community is filled with profound sadness upon hearing the unfortunate news of the passing of our former football players, D.J. Hayden. Hayden, Zachary McMillian, and Ralph Oragwu. Our deepest sympathies go out to their families and friends, and our hearts share in the profound sorrow of this tragic loss.

A Legacy Remembered

D.J. Hayden, known for his resilience after surviving a near-fatal heart injury in 2012, was a first-round draft pick for the Oakland Raiders in 2013. Over eight seasons, he left an indelible mark on the NFL, playing for teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Commanders, and Detroit Lions.

The Raiders, in a heartfelt statement on X, paid tribute to Hayden’s courage, perseverance, and dedication to his teammates. The statement conveyed the condolences of the entire Raider Nation to D.J.’s loved ones during this difficult time.

This tragic incident not only marks the loss of talented individuals but also serves as a somber reminder of the fragility of life.


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