Former NFL star DJ Hayden, aged 33, tragically lost his life in a car crash in Houston on Saturday morning.
Hayden and his former college teammate Zach McMillian were among the six people killed when a Chrysler 300 ran a red light, colliding with their Acura SUV at high speed at the cross section of Fannin Street and Pierce Street in downtown Houston.
Hayden, a standout player at the University of Houston and a first-round NFL draft pick in 2013, had a successful nine-season career, notably with the Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Washington Football Team.
His close friend and teammate McMillian, 32, had played alongside him for the Houston Cougars, earning All-AAC honors.
McMillian survived a life-threatening injury in 2012 when he tore the inferior vena cava during a practice session, an injury fatal 95% of the time.
Despite the odds, he made a remarkable comeback, eventually joining Hayden in the NFL. The crash resulted in four immediate deaths at the scene, and two more were pronounced deceased after being transported to the hospital.
Two survivors are currently dealing with critical conditions. The Houston Chronicle reported that the Chrysler 300 had run the red light at a high velocity, leading to the tragic incident.
The NFL community mourns the loss of Hayden, remembering his significant contributions to the league over his nine-year career