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Vikings’ Khyree Jackson and two former high school teammates killed in car crash in Maryland

Vikings’ Khyree Jackson and two former high school teammates killed in car crash in Maryland

TOGETHER TO THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: Khyree Jackson, from left, played college football at Alabama and Oregon and was in contention for a starting spot at his professional team’s training camp, which opens later this month. Isaiah Hazel played at Maryland and Charlotte, Anthony Lytton, Jr. played at Florida State and Penn State. PHOTOS COURTESY OF X.COM

UPPER MARLBORO, Maryland (AP) – Minnesota Vikings rookie cornerback Khyree Jackson and two of his former high school teammates were killed in a car crash in Maryland Saturday morning, police and the team said.

Jackson, 24, and Isaiah Hazel died at the scene, while Anthony Lytton, Jr. was pronounced dead at a hospital following the car crash in Prince George’s County, according to Maryland State Police. Lytton was 24 and Hazel was 23.

The three were in the same vehicle shortly after 3 a.m. when it was struck by another vehicle that was driving too fast and changing lanes, police said.

The Vikings released a statement saying the team had spoken with Jackson’s family and was “devastated by the news.”

“I am heartbroken by the loss of Khyree,” said Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. “As we got to know him leading up to the draft, it was clear what Khyree wanted to achieve both professionally and personally. His story was one of resilience. He took steps to become the best version of himself, not only for himself, but for those who cared about him and looked up to him.”

Jackson was drafted in the fourth round by the Vikings in April. He played two years at Alabama before finishing his college career with one season at Oregon.

Jackson was in the running for a spot in the starting cornerback position at the team’s training camp, which begins later this month in Eagan, Minnesota.

“I am absolutely devastated by this news,” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said. “Khyree brought a contagious energy to our facility and our team. His confidence and engaging personality immediately attracted his teammates.”

Hazel played college football at Maryland and Charlotte, and Lytton played at Florida State and Penn State.

The three won a state championship together at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School in Maryland, which paid tribute to them in a social media post.

Hazel was driving and Jackson and Lytton were in a Dodge Charger that crashed and left the road and struck several tree stumps, police said.

Investigators believe that the driver of a second vehicle traveling north attempted to change lanes “at high speed” and collided with the car driven by Hazel and a third vehicle.

No one was injured in the second or third vehicle.

Investigators believe alcohol may have played a role in the accident and that charges could be filed.

Jackson was selected to the All-Pac-12 first team by The Associated Press last season after ranking second in the conference with three interceptions. His college career began in junior college in 2019.

“RIP Khyree… I love you,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning posted on social media. “I’m lost for words. I will miss your smile. Great player, even better person.”