While questions remain about the death of NFL star Dwayne Haskins, who was struck and killed by a dump truck on I-595 near Fort Lauderdale Airport on Saturday, one thing is clear: A young life cut short. There is loss that runs deep.
Haskins, 24-year-old quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was remembered by teammates and coaches as a “selfless” person who “always had a smile on his face.”
He would have turned 25 on May 3.
A man who said he was driving on I-595 after dropping off his daughter at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport that morning told NBC6 Miami that “he immediately called 911″ and reported a person who who was walking down the streets facing west. Highway alone. Chris Stanley said he believed the man he saw could be Haskins.
Stanley told NBC6 that just six minutes before Haskins’ death, he called 911 at 6:31 a.m.
“I didn’t see any vehicles around [that may have belonged to the man],” Stanley said. “I was more concerned with him because he was already making his way onto the road system. He was about halfway there, already a quarter of the way on the right lane on the highway and I was already worried that someone was going to attack him at that point. ,
Stanley told NBC6 that he “saw the man with his arms raised slightly” as the man walked down the travel lane. According to NBC6, Stanley said he told 911, “If nobody gets to him, this guy’s going to have a big accident.”
According to a statement from the Florida Highway Patrol released Saturday, Haskins was driving on the highway “for reasons unknown” and “attempted to cross the westbound lanes of Interstate 595 at the time of oncoming traffic.” , he collided with an oncoming dump truck.”
Haskin died on the spot.
The agency declined to answer further questions on Sunday, citing the ongoing investigation.
Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool, who was training with Haskins in South Florida, shared an emotional tweet following Haskins’ death.
Claypool said, “I spent your last moments with you and I can’t help but think about how selfless you were in those moments.” “All you cared about was making sure everyone around you was okay and I can’t thank you enough for that. You are what I strive to be.”
Claypool, overwhelmed with emotion, later tweeted a video of himself in tears.
Haskins was working with fellow Steelers teammates in South Florida ahead of the upcoming NFL season.
Haskin’s agent could not be reached for comment on Sunday, but Goal Line Football of Miami, the company he represents, mourned the loss on Saturday:
“We mourn the tragic loss of our GL family member Dwayne Haskins. There are no words to describe this grief. Our prayers and condolences are with his family and the Steelers family. Rest in power Dwayne.”
His agent, Cedric Saunders, told ESPN that Haskins was training with other teammates.
The Associated Press reported that Haskins appeared in South Florida this week with fellow quarterback Mitch Trubisky, trailing Nazi Harris and tight end Pat Freermuth.
“I am devastated and at a loss for words with the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins,” Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement. “Upon arrival in Pittsburgh he quickly became part of our Steelers family and was one of our hardest workers, both on the field and in our community. Dwayne was a great teammate, but more than that a tremendous one to so many. Dude. I’m really heartbroken.
He spent the previous season as a backup for the Steelers and signed a one-year restricted contract with the team in March.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who retired in January after 18 years with the team, spent his previous season sharing a locker room with Haskins and said Haskins made an immediate impact despite their short time together.
“I only had the privilege of knowing him for a short time, but at that time I had the opportunity to meet a young man who never had a bad day,” Roethlisberger said in a statement, He used to come to work everyday with a smile on his face and energy and love in his heart.”
“I really enjoyed his passion and love for the game and wanted to learn and be the best. His smile and passion for life will be missed!”
Prior to the NFL, Haskins starred at Ohio State, highlighted by a prolific season in which he threw 50 touchdowns and led the Buckeyes to a 13–1 season. Former Ohio State coach Urban Mayer said on Twitter that he was “heartbroken” to hear of Haskins’ death.
“One of the greatest QBs in Ohio State history, but a better son, teammate and friend. God bless!!”
The Florida Highway Patrol described the case as an “open traffic homicide investigation” and said no further information would be released until it was completed. A traffic homicide investigation can take several months.