Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins died Saturday following a traffic accident in West Palm Beach, Florida. Haskins was 24-years-old.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin shared news of the tragedy in a statement Saturday.
“I am devastated and at a loss for words with the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins,” Tomlin said. “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.”
Haskins was involved in a “fatal vehicle vs pedestrian crash” early Saturday morning at around 6:30 a.m., according to the Florida Highway Patrol in West Palm Beach.
The football player was walking on “a limited access facility for unknown reasons” as he tried to cross the westbound lanes of Interstate 595 when there was oncoming traffic, Lt. Indiana Miranda told NBC News in an email. That’s when he collided with an oncoming dump truck.
Haskins was pronounced dead on scene, Miranda said, adding that the incident remains an open traffic homicide investigation.
“Dwayne was a great teammate, but even more so a tremendous friend to so many. I am truly heartbroken,” Tomlin said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Kalabrya, and his entire family during this difficult time.”
Haskins, who was turning 25 next month, is a former star quarterback from Ohio State University.
Even though he started for just one season, Haskins became one of the best players in college football after setting Big Ten records and finishing third in Heisman Trophy voting in 2018.
In a tribute posted on Twitter, Ohio State remembered Haskins as a “Leader. Legend. Forever a Buckeye.”
His Buckeye teammate Joe Burrow, who is now a quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, also shared a tribute on social media saying, “Tough to find the words… you will be missed.”
In 2019, Haskins joined the National Football League as a first-round draft pick for the Washington Commanders, where he spent two seasons.
“I am absolutely heartbroken to hear the news of the passing of Dwayne Haskins Jr. Dwayne was a talented young man who had a long life ahead of him,” Washington Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera said in a statement.
“I know I speak for the rest of our team in saying he will be sorely missed,” Rivera said. “Our entire team is sending our heartfelt condolences and thoughts and prayers to the Haskins family at this time.”
The NFL also extended its “deepest condolences” to Haskins’ family and loved ones.
Haskins joined the Steelers last year, but never got on the field with the team during the regular season. Haskins was in Florida this week getting in offseason work with several other Steelers skill position players.
Steelers teammate TJ Watt mourned Haskins’ passing on Twitter saying, “The world lost a great person today.“
“When Dwayne first walked into the locker room I could tell he was an upbeat guy,” Watt said. “He was always making people smile, never taking life for granted. His impact on me will last a forever.”