Former New York Jets player Dennis Byrd dead at 50

PUBLISHED Sat, October 15, 2016 - 8:39pm EDT

Dennis Byrd, a former University of Tulsa student who went on to play for the New York Jets in the early 90s, has died after he was involved in a head-on collision on Highway 88 near Claremore in Oklahoma. He was 50 years old.

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The accident happened at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday when a vehicle being driven by a 17-year-old boy veered into the left lane while driving southbound on Highway 88 in Rogers County, causing the vehicle to collide head-on with Byrd's vehicle.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Byrd was killed in the accident. Two other people, a 17-year-old boy and a 12-year-old boy, were rushed to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa in critical condition. Their conditions were later upgraded to stable.

The cause of Saturday's accident was not immediately known.

Dennis Byrd, who turned 50 just over a week ago, was born in Oklahoma City and attended college at the University of Tulsa. He later played as a defensive end and defensive tackle for the New York Jets from 1989 until 1992, when he suffered a severe neck injury that forced him to stop playing football.

"He had a tremendous playing career at TU and professionally with the New York Jets," said University of Tulsa athletics director Derrick Gragg. "He overcame great personal adversity after a life-altering injury on the football field. We know that Dennis touched numerous lives and will be missed by many."

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