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NFL rookie Khyree Jackson and two former teammates killed in tragic car crash in Maryland – Essence

NFL rookie Khyree Jackson and two former teammates killed in tragic car crash in Maryland – Essence

NFL rookie Khyree Jackson and two former teammates killed in tragic car crash in Maryland

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A community in Maryland is shaken after a fatal traffic accident last Saturday left three young football players dead, including NFL rookie Khyree Jackson, CBS News reports.

The men, 24-year-old Jackson, 23-year-old Isaiah Hazel and 24-year-old Anthony “AJ” Lytton Jr., were traveling in their Dodge Charger when they were forced off the road on Route 4 in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, by suspected drunk driver Cori Clingman.

According to Maryland State Police, the horrific accident occurred when Clingman, who was driving an Infiniti, attempted to change lanes at a high rate of speed and collided with her car, causing her to strike several trees. Clingman then crashed into another vehicle, but neither she, the two passengers in her car, nor the driver in the third car were injured. Jackson and Hazel were pronounced dead at the scene, while Lytton Jr. died at a nearby hospital.

The friends became friends while playing football together at Wise High School, and their former coach Dalawn Parrish recalled in an interview with WUSA9 News that they were always close. “All of these young men were close friends… (they) played together,” Coach Parrish said. “It’s amazing that they went on three different paths in terms of college and playing football, but were still always together when they came home for the summer.”

The crash ended their friendship and their promising post-high school football careers. Isaiah Hazel played college football at the University of Maryland and the University of North Carolina and dreamed of playing in the NFL, while Anthony Lytton Jr. had played for Florida State and Penn State. The NFL’s Minnesota Vikings had recently drafted Jackson, and the team’s head coach, Kevin O’Connell, expressed deep sadness over his untimely death in an obituary for X:

“I am absolutely devastated by this news. Khyree brought a contagious energy to our facility and our team. His confidence and engaging personality immediately attracted his teammates. Even more impressive was his desire to become the best person he could be for his family and those around him,” he said.

Maryland Governor Wes Moore also expressed his condolences in a statement on X, noting the far-reaching impact of the young men’s deaths: “Maryland is heartbroken this morning over the loss of @real_khyree,” Governor Moore said. “A graduate of Wise High School and NFL draft pick, Khyree was a true talent who touched so many lives. We mourn his loss and the two other souls lost in this crash.”

The investigation into the accident is ongoing and charges are pending. Police plan to contact the Prince George’s County District Attorney’s Office to determine how to proceed.

Meanwhile, Jackson’s family is trying to make sense of the tragedy, planning a funeral instead of a birthday celebration because Jackson would have turned 25 next month. Anthony Jackson, Khyree Jackson’s grandfather, told News4 Washington that his grandson had “high ambitions” and “did the best he could in life and with family.” Now the family will try to “get through this (tragedy) the best way we can,” he said.