Former NFL cornerback DJ Hayden was among six people killed in Houston early Saturday morning after a car ran a red light and caused a collision with another vehicle. Hayden was 33.
Hayden’s former University of Houston teammates Zach McMillian and Ralph Oragwu also died in the crash, the school confirmed. According to the Houston Chronicle, the driver who ran the red light was also pronounced dead at the scene.
According to police, four people were pronounced dead at the scene and two others died after being taken to a local hospital. A woman was taken to the hospital with “life-threatening injuries,” police told the Chronicle, while another person was alert and speaking with investigators.
The University of Houston also said former player Jeffery Lewis was injured but is recovering.
Hayden, a two-time All-Conference USA honoree with Houston, made national headlines after a collision in practice in 2012 left him tearful. He was released from the hospital a week later and was selected by the then-Oakland Raiders with the 12th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Hayden recorded 328 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 4 interceptions and 4 forced fumbles in 92 games (41 starts) with the Raiders (2013-16), Detroit Lions (2017), Jacksonville Jaguars (2018-20) and Washington Commanders (2021 ).
McMillian was a second-team All-American Athletic Conference selection as a cornerback for the Cougars from 2010 to 2013. Oragwu played on offense from 2009 to 2013.
“The entire University of Houston community is heartbroken by the tragic deaths of former football student-athletes DJ Hayden, Zachary McMillian and Ralph Oragwu earlier today, and our thoughts and prayers are with Jeffery Lewis for his impending recovery,” the school said in a statement Opinion. “We extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends and loved ones as we collectively mourn the loss of three people who had an indelible impact on every life they touched.”
Information from Reuters was used in this report.