Accident – Death – Obituary News : Former Jaguars Player D.J. Hayden Killed in Tragic Car Accident in Houston
In a devastating turn of events, former Jacksonville Jaguars player D.J. Hayden lost his life in a fatal car crash in Houston on Saturday morning. The Houston Chronicle, along with Hayden’s family, confirmed that he was one of the passengers in an Acura SUV, along with three of his former University of Houston teammates. The SUV was struck by a speeding Chrysler 300 that ran a red light on a downtown Houston street.
Hayden, who played for the Jaguars from 2018 to 2020, was among the six individuals who tragically lost their lives in the two-car collision. The Houston Police reported that the driver of the Chrysler 300 also perished, and four people died at the scene, with two more succumbing to their injuries after being transported to the hospital.
Authorities revealed that three individuals in the Acura were forcefully ejected during the impact, although they did not specify which three. Additionally, a homeless pedestrian was also fatally injured in the crash.
While the police have not officially released the names of the deceased, the University of Houston confirmed the identities of Hayden and his three former teammates from the 2011 and 2012 UH Cougars football teams. The other victims were identified as Ralph Oragwu and Zach McMillian, while Jeffrey Lewis survived the accident.
The Houston Chronicle also reported that Hayden was indeed a passenger in the Acura. Furthermore, the family of another victim, Lauren Robinson-Holliday, confirmed to Houston TV station KHOU that their daughter, along with the four former Houston football players, were all present in the SUV.
Hayden, who was named the Conference USA defensive player of the year for the Cougars in 2011, had an impressive football career. McMillian, another victim of the accident, was also an all-conference player. Oragwu played as an offensive lineman, and Lewis was a defensive back. Notably, McMillian is the son of former NFL cornerback Audray McMillian, who had a successful nine-season tenure with the Minnesota Vikings and Houston Oilers from 1985 to 1993.
At the age of 33, Hayden was selected as a first-round draft pick by the Oakland Raiders in 2013. Throughout his nine-year NFL career, he played for the Raiders, Detroit Lions, Washington Football Team, and spent his final seasons with the Jaguars. In 2018, Hayden signed a three-year, $19 million contract with the Jaguars. During his time with the team, he played 30 games, starting in 15 of them as a cornerback and nickel corner. He recorded one interception, 11 passes defensed, and a forced fumble. Known for his reliable tackling skills, Hayden amassed 105 tackles as a Jaguar, including eight tackles for loss.
The loss of D.J. Hayden is a tragic blow to the football community, and his contributions to the sport will not be forgotten. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family, friends, and former teammates during this difficult time..