D.J. Hayden Cause of Death: Former NFL cornerback dies at 33

D. J. Hayden

D.J. Hayden, a former NFL player, was killed in a car crash early Saturday morning, ESPN reported. He was 33.

D.J. Hayden and two of his former college teammates died in a two-car crash that police said killed six people after a driver sped through a red light at a downtown Houston intersection early Saturday. Two others were injured.

The Houston Chronicle reported that Hayden, a first-round draft pick by the Raiders in 2013, and his former University of Houston teammates, Zachary McMillian and Ralph Oragwu, were among those killed in the crash.

D.J. Hayden
D.J. Hayden Dies at Age 33

A fourth former UH football player, Jeffery Lewis, survived the accident, according to the newspaper.

The crash happened around 2 a.m., after a black Chrysler sedan that appeared to be going “very fast” through a red light on Fannin St. collided into a black Acura SUV that had a green light on Pierce St., Houston Police Asst. Chief Megan Howard said in a news briefing Saturday morning.

Including the former athletes, five males and one female died in the crash. Of those killed, four people died at the scene. Four others were taken to the hospital, where two of them later died.

Another person, a female, is in critical condition with life-threatening injuries. The other survivor, a male, is being interviewed by investigators.

The driver of the Chrysler who ran the red light died at the scene, Howard said.

One of the men who died was a pedestrian on the sidewalk, police said.

Police have not yet released the identities of the deceased. Hayden was in the Acura SUV, the Chronicle reported.

D.J. Hayden

Who was D.J. Hayden?

D.J. Hayden was born on June 27, 1990 in Houston, Texas. He attended Elkins High School, where he played as a wide receiver and defensive back.

He was also a track and field athlete, competing in sprinting and jumping events.

He enrolled at the University of Houston in 2009 and joined the Cougars football team as a cornerback. He had a successful college career, earning All-Conference USA honors in 2011 and 2012.

He also survived a near-fatal injury in 2012, when he tore a major vein in his heart during a practice collision.

He underwent emergency surgery and recovered in time to be drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

D.J. Hayden
D.J. Hayden

D.J. Hayden professional career highlights are:

He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, with the 12th overall pick.

He played for the Raiders from 2013 to 2016, appearing in 45 games and recording three interceptions and 26 pass deflections.

He signed with the Detroit Lions in 2017, and had a career-high two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

He joined the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2018, and played for them until 2020. He had a career-best four sacks and 11 pass deflections in 2019.

He signed with the Washington Football Team in 2021, but only played in one game before he passed away on November 11, 2023, at the age of 33.

D.J. Hayden Cause of Death

D.J. Hayden died on November 11, 2023, as a result of a traffic collision in Houston, Texas.

He was among six fatalities when a car ran a red light at 2:00 AM local time and struck the SUV in which Hayden was a passenger.

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