Dwayne Haskins, the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers and a 2018 Heisman Trophy finalist with Ohio State University, was fatally struck by a dump truck Saturday morning while trying to cross a highway on foot in South Florida. police said.
Haskins, who re-signed with the Steelers in March after serving as a backup last season, was 24 years old.
Haskins was trying to cross the westbound lanes of Interstate 595 near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Broward County when the dump truck struck him, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The incident was reported shortly after 6:30 am, the patrol said.
He had been “walking on (the highway) for unknown reasons,” the patrol said in a news release.
Details about what led up to the incident were not immediately available. In recent days, Haskins has been in South Florida training with some Steelers teammates, as captured on Instagram stories of Haskins and Steelers running back Najee Harris.
The news of Haskins’ death generated surprise statements in the league.
“I am devastated and speechless by the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement released by the team.
We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Dwayne Haskins.
May he rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/PsDEx9RI5J
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 9, 2022
“He quickly became a part of our Steelers family upon his arrival in Pittsburgh and was one of our best workers, both on the field and in our community,” Tomlin’s statement read. “Dwayne was a great teammate, but even more so a tremendous friend to many. I am truly heartbroken.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Kalabrya, and their entire family during this difficult time.”
‘I feel like I can be a starter in this league’
Haskins, a third-string quarterback last season behind now-retired Ben Roethlisberger and backup Mason Rudolph, re-signed with the Steelers on a one-year deal last month, ready to enter his fourth year in the NFL.
Haskins was set to compete next season with Rudolph and new Steelers acquisition Mitchell Trubisky for depth chart positions.
“I feel like I can start in this league. They drafted me for that reason,” Haskins said in January, according to Steelers.com. “I definitely think I have the talent to do it. I just haven’t nailed it yet. what to do this preseason to get in position to play.”
Haskins rose to fame at Ohio State, where he set both college and Big 10 conference records as a Redshirt sophomore in 2018, including single-season passing yards (4,831), passing touchdown (50) and total offensive yards (4,939).
That season he finished third in voting for the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding player in college football.
Washington selected Haskins with the 15th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Haskins played 16 games over two seasons for Washington, starting 13 times, before the team released him in December 2020 toward the end of his tenure. second season.
The Steelers drafted him in January 2021, although he did not appear in any regular-season games for Pittsburgh.
Roethlisberger said on Twitter that although he only knew Haskins for a short time, he knew him to be “a young man who never seemed to have a bad day.”
“He came to work every day with a smile on his face and energy and love in his heart. I really enjoyed his passion and love for the game and wanting to learn and be the best. His smile and zeal for life will be missed!” “I’ll say it again like I told you up front, I still want to throw the ball like you do,” Roethlisberger said.
The Washington Commanders, Ohio State and other players expressed their shock and condolences.
Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward tweeted: “Dwayne meant so much to so many people”.
“His smile was infectious and he was a guy you wanted around,” Hewyard wrote. “We’re all in shock to have lost him. We’re going to miss him terribly too. We lost you way too soon. Luckily I got a chance to meet you. RIP DH.”
Haskins’ assistant head coach in Washington, Ron Rivera, said Saturday that he was “absolutely heartbroken” to learn of his former player’s passing.
“Dwayne was a talented young man who had a long life ahead of him,” says Rivera’s message. “This is a very sad time and I am honestly at a loss for words. I know I speak for the rest of our team in saying that he will be sorely missed.”
Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool recalled Haskins’ altruism in his final interaction with him.
“I spent your last moments with you and I can’t help but think how selfless you were in those moments. All you cared about was making sure everyone around you was okay and I can’t thank you enough for that. You are what I strive for,” Claypool tweeted.
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said in a tweet that the college community is “heartbroken”.
“The loss of Dwayne is beyond tragic and extremely difficult to process. To those who knew him closely, he was so much more than a great football player. He had a giant heart, an old soul and an infectious smile,” Day tweeted.
The Ohio State athletic department released a statement saying it was “terribly saddened to learn of the death of Dwayne Haskins on Saturday morning.”
“We are thinking of the entire Haskins family during this very difficult time. Our prayers are with the family and his current and former teammates, coaches, friends and relatives,” he read in the statement.
In his 16 career NFL games in Washington, Haskins threw for 2,804 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
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