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The Baltimore Ravens cornerback, Tray Walker, died on Friday, March 18, 2016, from injuries sustained in a dirt bike accident, which occurred in Liberty, Fla. Walker was 23 years old and played in the NFL for just one year. Walker was riding his Honda dirt bike and collided with another vehicle on Northwest 75th Street. According to the Miami-Dade Police Department, Walker collided with a Ford Escape at approximately 7:50 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 17. The football player was reportedly traveling west, and the other driver was traveling south when the two collided at the two-way stop intersection of Northwest 75th Street and Northwest 21st Avenue. After the collision, the driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with the police. The police report stated that Walker’s dirt bike’s lights were not turned on, he was wearing dark clothing, and was not wearing a helmet. There were no reports of alcohol intake with the two drivers.
The football player was taken to the Ryder Trauma Center, which is located at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Fla. He underwent surgery the night of the accident after sustaining serious head injuries. He was later announced to be in critical condition when Walker’s agent, Ron Butler, confirmed to ESPN that he was “fighting for his life.” Walker, the Baltimore Ravens rookie cornerback, died from his injuries at 5 p.m. EST on Friday, March 18 at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Walker, who was a Miami native, attended Miami Northwestern Senior High School and played for their football team. He then attended Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas in 2011. He played for the Tigers football team for four years. As a freshman, he recorded 22 tackles and had three interceptions. He also recorded his career best of 11 deflected passes that year. During his senior year, he was part of the Second-Team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Walker was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2015 NFL Draft, which made him the 16th drafted cornerback. He was drafted in the fourth round and was an overall 136 draft pick. He played in eight snaps last season, mostly on special teams and recorded two total tackles. Walker was inactive for half of the games, despite Head Coach John Harbaugh making the statement last December that his learning was similar to a “sponge.” The Ravens finished last season with a 5-11 record.
The first-year NFL player dedicated his rookie season to his father, who died in 2014 from a heart attack. One day after the NFL Draft and his father’s birthday, Walker and his family released his ashes off of the Miami coast. Ravens’ team officials had a scheduled team meeting in Florida for Monday, March 21, but ESPN reported they are traveling early to visit Walker’s family. Many of his friends, Baltimore Ravens officials, and teammates took to social media to share their condolences after learning that Walker died from injuries sustained in a dirt bike accident.
By Tricia Manalansan
Edited by Leigh Haugh
Baltimore Sun: Mike Preston: Reality sets in for sports world after Tray Walker accident
ESPN: Tray Walker of Baltimore Ravens dies after dirt bike accident
NBC Sports: John Harbaugh on Tray Walker: “Oh my God. This is devastating news.”
Image Courtesy of Keith Allison’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License