Dennis Byrd, a former NFL defensive lineman for the New York Jets, lost his life on Saturday, October 15 during a two-vehicle collision. Byrd’s career was prematurely ended when he obtained a neck injury during a game on November 29, 1992 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
According to preliminary investigations made by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, a 17-year-old Claremont youth was operating a 2000 Ford Explorer northbound along Oklahoma State Highway 88. His vehicle veered onto the oncoming lane, causing the collision with Byrd’s Hummer H2.
Tulsa’s athletic director Dr. Derrick Gragg expressed his condolences for Byrd’s family, saying, “We extend our sincerest condolences to Dennis’ wife, Angela, their children, and the entire Byrd family. Dennis exemplified true determination, tremendous heart, and humility throughout his life. He had a tremendous playing career at [the University of Tulsa] and professionally with the New York Jets. 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.”
Byrd was 51 years old when death claimed him.