(CLAREMORE, Okla.) — Former New York Jets defensive end Dennis Byrd, whose career ended in 1992 due to neck and spinal cord injuries, was killed in a car crash Saturday near his home in Oklahoma.
Byrd was pronounced dead at the scene between Oologah and Claremore, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol confirmed to ESPN. He was 50 years old.
Officials said the former NFL player was driving a 2004 Hummer H2 when his vehicle was struck by a 17-year-old’s 2000 Ford Explorer, according to ESPN. A 12-year-old passenger in Byrd’s vehicle as well as the other driver were taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa in critical condition, ESPN reports.
Byrd’s NFL career was cut short on Nov. 29, 1992 after an on-field collision with teammate Scott Mersereau, suffering extensive damage to his neck and spinal cord. He walked with some difficulty in the years after the incident and continued to try and rehabilitate.
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