Former NFL cornerback D.J. Hayden, a first-round pick in the 2013 draft, tragically lost his life in a devastating car crash in Houston that claimed six lives. The accident occurred at 2 a.m. on Saturday and involved an Acura SUV and a Chrysler 300 that ran a red light on Fannin Street, according to Houston Police Department’s Assistant Chief Megan Howard.
Chief Howard stated during a press conference, “It appears to be going very fast, high velocity.” At the scene, a total of four individuals were pronounced dead. Another four were sent to the hospital, but sadly, two of them later died. Chief Howard further revealed that there were a total of five deceased males and one deceased female involved in the tragic accident.
Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle reported that one of the deceased individuals was former NFL player D.J. Hayden, who had previously played for the Raiders, Lions, Jaguars, and Washington. Prior to his NFL career, Hayden played two seasons (2011-2012) at the University of Houston. During his senior year, he survived a near-fatal incident during a practice that tore his inferior vena cava in his heart. Despite this, he was drafted as the 12th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Hayden had a successful eight-year career, logging 328 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. Another football player, defensive back Zach McMillian, who also played for the UH Cougars, was also tragically killed in the crash. Both players were an integral part of the football community and will be deeply missed.
D.J. Hayden’s sudden passing has left the sports world mourning the loss of a talented athlete and a beloved member of the football community. His death resonated deeply among fans and fellow players alike, with an outpouring of tributes and condolences on social media. The impact he made on and off the field will continue to be felt and remembered by many for years to come.
The loss of D.J. Hayden and Zach McMillian serves as a devastating reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of cherishing every moment. Their deaths have left a void in the hearts of their families, friends, and the entire football community. As the news of this tragic accident continues to reverberate, it is a poignant reminder to hold loved ones close and to honor the memories of those who are no longer with us.
In the wake of this heartbreaking tragedy, the sports world comes together in solidarity to mourn the lives lost and to celebrate the legacies left behind by D.J. Hayden and Zach McMillian. Their impact on the NFL and the wider football community will be remembered and cherished for years to come. May they both rest in peace.