D.J. Hayden, a former first-round pick who played nine seasons in the NFL, was killed in a car crash early Saturday morning in Houston, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. He was 33 years old.
The Houston Chronicle first reported the news.
Hayden was among six people killed when a car sped through a red light at the cross section of Fannin Street and Pierce Street in downtown Houston at approximately 2 a.m. CST, according to the Houston Police Department. Four people were pronounced dead at the scene. Two of the additional four others that were transported to the hospital have since been pronounced deceased.
The University of Houston, where Hayden played college football, announced that former players Zachary McMillian and Ralph Oragwu were among those who died, and Jeffrey Lewis was among those injured in the crash.
"The entire University of Houston community is heartbroken over the tragic passing of former Football student-athletes D.J. Hayden, Zachary McMillian and Ralph Oragwu earlier today, and our thoughts and prayers remain with Jeffery Lewis in his recovery ahead," the University of Houston said in a statement. "We extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends, and loved ones, as we collectively mourn the loss of three individuals who made an indelible impact on each life they touched. While their combined talents provided Houston Football some of its most unforgettable moments, their unique legacies will best be remembered for the way they loved their teammates, supported their communities and defied the odds."
Hayden, a Houston native, made national news in 2012 after surviving a near-fatal injury to his heart during practice. The Raiders would go on to select Hayden with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
"The Raiders Family is mourning the tragic loss of former cornerback D.J. Hayden," the team said in a statement. "The Raiders' first-round draft pick out of the University of Houston in 2013, D.J. overcame a heart injury sustained in a college practice to play nine years in the NFL, including his first four with the Silver and Black. D.J.'s courage, perseverance, and dedication to his teammates will be fondly remembered by everyone who knew him. The prayers of the entire Raider Nation are with D.J.'s loved ones at this time."
Hayden spent four years in Oakland before stops in Detroit, Jacksonville and Washington. The cornerback produced four interceptions, 46 passes defensed, 4.5 sacks and 328 total tackles during his nine-year career in the NFL.