A former National Football League player was among six people who were killed in a collision that occurred when a speeding driver ran a red light in downtown Houston on Saturday.
Before his death in Houston during his collegiate alma mater’s homecoming weekend, 33-year-old DJ Hayden had played nine seasons in the NFL after the Raiders selected him in the first round of the college draft in 2013.
According to the Houston Chronicle newspaper, Hayden and five others were killed at about 2am local time when a Chrysler 300 blew past a red light near a freeway and collided with an Acura sport-utility vehicle.
Hayden and three others died at the scene, including former University of Houston cornerback Zach McMillian, who played with Hayden on the school’s football team in 2011 and 2012.
Both were also members of the school’s all-decade team. Ralph Oragwu, another former University of Houston football player, was also identified as a victim killed in the crash.
A fourth former player killed in the collision has yet to be identified.
This weekend was homecoming at the University of Houston, an event celebrating alumni.
Hayden missed the final three games of his college football career with the University of Houston after suffering a nearly fatal heart injury that resulted from him being accidentally kneed in the chest by a teammate during a practice.
He spent four seasons with the Raiders – at that time in Oakland, California – before joining the Detroit Lions in 2017, played for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2018 to 2020, and appeared in one game for the Washington Commanders in 2021.