Oklahoma Icon Dies In SUV Accident

An accident that happened on a recent Saturday outside of Tulsa resulted in the death of local Oklahoma icon Dennis Byrd. Football fans cheered for Byrd during his days as a high school and college football star in Oklahoma, and then when he played professional football for the New York Jets.

Byrd was more than a local football legend, however. People throughout the country admired the man for his grace and perseverance in the face of tremendous adversity. This is because in 1992, while playing in an NFL game, he suffered a broken neck that ended his career and left him unable to walk. Through months of grueling rehabilitation, Byrd did walk again, and walked on the football field as an honorary captain during the Jets' first home game the very next season.

Byrd went on to write a book about his experiences, and a movie was made about him. In addition, the Jets continue to honor him through an award in his name, given to the team's most inspirational player each year.

The motor vehicle crash that killed Byrd occurred at about 11 a.m. on Oklahoma 88. A 17-year-old driver veered his Ford Explorer into oncoming traffic and his vehicle struck Byrd's Hummer H2. Authorities pronounced Byrd dead at the accident scene, and a 12-year-old passenger in his vehicle was in critical condition. First responders also took the Ford's driver to a Tulsa hospital, where he was in critical condition.

This accident should remind people all over Oklahoma of just how important safety is when they are driving. Drivers who fail to take reasonable safety precautions behind the wheel risk causing deadly accidents.

Source: Tulsa World, "Former NFL player Dennis Byrd killed in car accident," Oct. 16, 2016

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