• D.J. Hayden, former NFL player, died in a car crash in Houston at age 33
• Three other former University of Houston football players also died in the accident
• Hayden had a successful career in the NFL, playing for the Raiders, Lions, Jaguars, and Washington Commanders
Here is what happened:
The NFL community is mourning the tragic loss of D.J. Hayden, a first-round pick of the Oakland Raiders who spent nine seasons in the league. He was killed in a car crash in Houston at the age of 33. Along with Hayden, former University of Houston football players Zach McMillan and Ralph Oragwu, along with another man and woman, also lost their lives in the accident, which occurred after a Chrysler 300 speeding through a red light collided with an Acura SUV.
During a press briefing, a Houston Police Department spokeswoman revealed that another man, former UH football player Jeffery Lewis, and a woman survived the crash but remain hospitalized, with the woman suffering life-threatening injuries. The incident is still under investigation, and authorities have not yet determined who was driving the Acura. The University of Houston Athletics expressed their condolences and stated, “We extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends, and loved ones, as we collectively mourn the loss of three individuals who made an indelible impact on each life they touched.”
Hayden, originally from Missouri City, Tex, played as a defensive back at UH in 2011 and 2012. He faced a life-threatening injury in 2012 when he tore a major vein that feeds his heart during practice, leading to surgery. Hayden’s professional career saw him play for teams like the Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions, and Washington Commanders. He is survived by his parents, Tori Hayden and Derek Hayden.