In Memoriam: Fallen Stars of 2022
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was killed when he was hit by a vehicle this weekend. He was 24.
The athlete died the morning of Saturday, April 9 in South Florida, where the NFL star was training with other Steelers players. “Mr. Haskins was walking on a limited access facility for unknown reasons. He was attempting to cross the westbound lanes of Interstate 595 when there was oncoming traffic,” the Florida Highway Patrol said in a statement to E! News. “Unfortunately, he collided with an oncoming dump truck. Mr. Haskins was pronounced dead on scene.”
The group added that the case remains an “open Traffic Homicide Investigation.”
“I am devastated and at a loss for words with the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins,” Mike Tomlin, the Steelers’ head coach said in a statement on Twitter. “He quickly became part of our Steelers family upon his arrival in Pittsburgh and was one of our hardest workers, both on the field and in our community.”
Tomlin continued, “Dwayne was a great teammate, but even more so a tremendous friend to so many. I am truly heartbroken. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Kalabrya [Gondrezick-Haskins], and his entire family during this difficult time.”
Haskins, a New Jersey native who was also raised in Maryland, was an Ohio State University star quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist before he began his NFL career.
A first-round draft pick, Haskins was selected 15th by the team now known as the Washington Commanders in the 2019 draft. He played for them for two seasons before the Steelers signed him in 2021. Haskins did not play any regular season games with the team while backing up quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who retired in January.
“I am absolutely heartbroken to hear the news of the passing of Dwayne Haskins Jr.,” Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “Dwayne was a talented young man who had a long life ahead of him. 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 he will be sorely missed. Our entire team is sending our heartfelt condolences and thoughts and prayers to the Haskins family at this time.”
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Haskins’ nickname was Simba, and his social media username—@dh_simba7.
“Growing up, I had the big, thick afro,” he told NBC Sports in 2019. “My mom would comb my hair, like, ‘You look like a lion.’ I’m like, ‘Well, I like Simba. I look like Simba now.'”
He added, “So there’s that and then there’s the story behind him growing to king, going through adversity, and having to fall to get up and that’s just something that resonates with my story because everyone sees the highs of everything, but not what it took to get there.”
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