Baltimore Ravens’ Tray Walker Passes Away At 23 After Dirt Bike Crash Near Miami
Very sad news coming out of the Baltimore Ravens camp.
Ravens cornerback Tray Walker passed away at 5pm on Friday after he was critically injured in a dirt bike crash in Florida on Thursday night. He was 23-years-young.
Via the Sun-Sentinel:
Miami-Dade Police said the crash between Walker’s Honda dirt bike, which did not have a light, and a Ford Escape SUV, happened after sunset at about 7:52 p.m. in Liberty City.
Walker was not wearing a helmet, police said.
The residential neighborhood is at Northwest 21st Avenue and Northwest 75th Street. The Ford’s driver was identified Friday as Donzetta Coaxum, 62, of Miami.
Coaxum was not charged and has cooperated with detectives in the investigation that is continuing, Miami-Dade Police Detective Jennifer Capote said.
Walker attended Miami Northwestern High and was a fourth-round pick last year out of Texas Southern University.
He was in critical condition Thursday night when Miami-Dade Fire Rescue took him to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami.
“Oh my God, this is devastating news,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement Thursday. “Our prayers and hopes are with Tray and his family tonight.”
Harbaugh wrote a letter to the team Friday that the Ravens shared on their website.
“That was the kind of phone call you never want to get as a coach, as a parent, as a brother, as a friend. This shook me and all of us,” he wrote.
Walker played in eight games with the Ravens during his rookie season and had one tackle. His action was mostly limited to special teams.
Several Ravens teammates, including defensive backs Shareece Wright, Anthony Levine and Julian Wilson, took to Twitter on Thursday night to wish Walker well.
“Tray was like a brother to me; hearing some news like this hurts my heart,” tweeted Wilson, who missed his entire rookie season after he broke his leg in rookie minicamp. “I know Tray’s a fighter [and] he’s going to pull through.”
Walker, a high school teammate of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Oakland Raiders receiver Amari Cooper, dedicated his rookie season to his father, Tommy Lee Walker, who died of a heart attack in November 2014. He was 53.
His father’s ashes were spread off the waters of Miami last year, the day after Walker was drafted by the Ravens. Walker became the first Texas Southern player to be drafted since wide receiver Joey Jamison was taken by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round in 2000. He was the highest draft pick for the school since center Joe Burch was a third-round pick by the New England Patriots in 1994.
Walker was considered a developmental cornerback, largely because he didn’t face top competition in college. However, the Ravens loved his length — 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds — and Harbaugh said that another team was prepared to take Walker had the Ravens not drafted him with the 136th overall pick.
As Ravens players packed up their lockers the day after the regular-season-ending loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Walker admitted that it was frustrating not being able to contribute more during his rookie year.
“It was just a learning step for me,” Walker said then. “There was a lot for me to learn and accomplish throughout the season, adjusting to the length of the season as well as studying the game. At some points, it was [frustrating]. But I just used that as an edge for me. Just learn from that and just hope and wish that I come back strong for next year, and [am] able to get on the field and make the plays that they want me to make.”
Walker is the third active NFL player injured in incidents in South Florida over the past nine months.
Our condolences and prayers go out to Tray’s family and teammates during this difficult time.
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