Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins died early Saturday morning after he was hit by a dump truck near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He was 24.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Haskins was walking on a “limited access facility (highway/expressway) for unknown reasons” around 6:37 am The FHP said he was attempting to cross westbound lanes of Interstate 595 when he was hit by a dump truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene, per the FHP, and traffic homicide investigators were on the scene.
The highway patrol added that there are live-feed cameras near the scene, but footage is not recorded.
“I am devastated and at a loss for words with the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement Saturday. “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.
“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, and his entire family during this difficult time.”
Haskins signed with the Steelers in January 2021 but did not see any action during the 2021 season. He was in Florida training with other Steelers skill position players — quarterback Mitch Trubisky, running back Najee Harris and tight end Pat Freiermuth.
Haskins was a standout at Ohio State and in 2018, his only season as a starter, threw 50 touchdown passes, earning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting.
He was drafted with the 15th overall pick by Washington in the 2019 NFL draft. Haskins played in nine games his rookie season, throwing seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. In his second season, he threw for five touchdowns before being released in December 2020.
Haskins is survived by his wife, Kalabrya, parents Dwayne and Tamara, and a younger sister, Tamia.
“We are devastated to hear the news of the tragic passing of Dwayne Haskins, Jr. He was a young man with a tremendous amount of potential who had an infectious personality,” Commanders owners Dan and Tanya Snyder said in a statement, “To say we are heartbroken is an understatement. Our hearts and prayers are with the members of Dwayne’s family and all of those who knew him and loved him.”
Dwayne Haskins starred at Ohio State
“The Ohio State Department of Athletics is terribly saddened to learn of the death of Dwayne Haskins Saturday morning,” the school said in a statement. “We are thinking of the entire Haskins family during this most difficult time. Our prayers are with the family, and with his current and former teammates, coaches, friends and relatives.”
Haskins finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2018 after throwing for 50 touchdowns.
He beat out Joe Burrow for the starting job in 2018 and had a dazzling season for the Buckeyes. He threw for 4,831 yards and completed 70 percent of his passes. He earned the Big Ten’s Silver Football award as the conference’s best player.
Haskins signed with Ohio State in 2016 as a four-star recruit from the Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland. He redshirted as a freshman and was a backup to JT Barrett in 2017. In the Michigan game that year, Haskins replaced the injured Barrett and led OSU to a 31-20 comeback victory over the Wolverines.
In 2018, Haskins battled with Burrow to succeed Barrett as the Buckeyes’ starter. Haskins was the presumptive front-runner because of his performance against Michigan. Burrow, who had broken his thumb in 2017, was unable to unseat Haskins in spring practice and transferred to LSU.
Urban Meyer reacts to Dwayne Haskins’ death
Meyer, Haskins’ coach at Ohio State, told The Columbus Dispatch on Saturday that he was devastated.
“He was one of the sweetest kids,” Meyer said. “The players all loved him. My daughter (Nicki Meyer Dennis) just showed me a picture of him holding our grandson. I’m just heartbroken for that family.”
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith wrote on Twitter: “Shocked and saddened by the devastating news about Dwayne. He was a legend on the field and truly a tremendous human being. Prayers to the Haskins’ family.”
Contributing: Columbus Dispatch, Safid Deen