CLAREMORE, Okla. - Quick Facts:
- A former NFL star was killed in a Rogers County crash Saturday
- It happened around noon at State Highway 88 and Lowery Road north of Claremore.
- A 17-year-old driver was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
- Dennis Byrd, 50, of Talala, drove a second vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. He played for the New York Jets in the early 1990s.
- A 12-year-old passenger of Byrd's vehicle was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
A former NFL star was killed Saturday in a Rogers County crash.
OHP officials said Dennis Byrd was killed and two minors were injured in a crash Saturday in Rogers County.
A 17-year-old male driving a 2000 Ford Explorer traveled left of center and struck a 2004 Hummer H2. The teen was taken to the hospital with injuries to his head, trunk, arms and legs.
Byrd was driving the hummer and pronounced dead at the scene.
A 12-year-old passenger of Byrd's vehicle was also taken to the hospital with multiple injuries.
Byrd played for the New York Jets from 1989-1992. Prior to that he attended and played for the University of Tulsa.
He was well known for overcoming tragedy when he was paralyzed during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs in November 1992. He wrote a book called "Rise and Walk: The Trial and Triumph of Dennis Byrd." It was made into a TV movie in 1994.
Dr. Derrick Gragg, Athletic Director at the University of Tulsa released this statement late Saturday:
“We extend our sincere condolences to Dennis’ wife Angela, their children and the entire Byrd family. Dennis exemplified true determination, tremendous heart and humility throughout his life. He had a tremendous playing career at TU and professionally with the New York Jets. He overcame great personal adversity after a life-altering injury on the football field. We know that Dennis touched numerous lives and will be missed by many.”
University officials plan to meet this week to discuss ways to honor Byrd's legacy.
The crash is still under investigation.
Byrd's funeral is set for Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 1 p.m.
Note: The Oklahoma Highway Patrol originally reported the crash was a double fatality. The story was updated when we learned Byrd was the only person killed. The URL reflects the original information.
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