Thomas Howard, NFL linebacker who was cut by the Atlanta Falcons last week died in a car crash Monday morning in Oakland, California after losing control and slamming his BMW 750Li into the back of a semi.
Officials say that Howard was going in-excess of 100 mph before making impact. They continued to report that Howard’s car went airborne and flew across the center median, where he collided with a Chevy Monte Carlo and a Honda CR-V.
Both Howard and the driver of the Honda, Zeng Long Liu, 64 died at the scene. While the driver of the Chevy was transported to a nearby hospital, and the condition of the semi driver is unknown.
Howard was drafted back in 2006 by the Oakland Raiders, then went on to play for the Bengals and was recently cut by the Atlanta Falcons.
“It is shocking and very sad,” Texas-El Paso athletics director Bob Stull said about Howard on the school’s sports department web site.
“His story was inspiring. He came here as a walk-on defensive back and through hard work and dedication developed into one of the greatest linebackers in school history. He was enjoying a tremendous NFL career.
“More than anything, though, Thomas was a fine young man, personable and engaging. He always had a smile on his face. He returned to El Paso frequently and was always eager to give back to UTEP. He was a superb alum and friend of the university. It’s just hard to believe that he’s gone. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
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