For the second week in a row, the NFL is dealing with the loss of a player. Unfortunately, the death comes at the hands of one of their own.
Dallas Cowboys defensive linesman Josh Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter on Saturday morning after he flipped his car in an accident that killed his teammate, Jerry Brown.
According to Irving police spokesperson John Argumaniz, Brent was speeding when his Mercedes hit the curb and flipped over at least once. There were multiple 911 calls made with callers saying they could see a car on the road upside down. The road they were on has a 45mph speed limit and Argumaniz said that while Brent’s exact speed was unknown, investigators are almost certain he was driving considerably faster than that. When officers arrived on the scene, Brent was pulling Brown from the car which had caught fire. Police were able to quickly extinguish it.
They suspected Brent had been drinking and gave him a field sobriety test. He was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated but when Brown was pronounced dead, the charge was upgraded to intoxication manslaughter.
Police also say Brent was completely distraught, as he and Brown were not only Cowboys teammates, but friends who played football together years before at the University of Illinois. He released the following statement through his agent:
”I am devastated and filled with grief. Filled with grief for the loss of my close friend and teammate, Jerry Brown. I am also grief-stricken for his family, friends and all who were blessed enough to have known him.
”I will live with this horrific and tragic loss every day for the rest of my life. My prayers are with his family, our teammates and his friends at this time.”
While Brown was a practice squad player and did not travel with the team, Brent was to be on a team flight to Cincinnati later that day. Cowboys’ coach Jason Garrett informed the rest of the team of the traged on that same flight and Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple described the flight as “quiet, more than normal.”
Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones released the following statement:
”We are deeply saddened by the news of this accident and the passing of Jerry Brown. At this time, our hearts and prayers and deepest sympathies are with the members of Jerry’s family and all of those who knew him and loved him.”
The NFL Players Association offers a safe-ride program to all players, the phone number of which is provided to each player on his union card. The service is available anywhere in the United States or Canada, with an hourly fee of $85 paid by the player. However, many players still do not use the number as an option and DUI/DWI incidents continue to happen.
Understandably, there has yet to be any word from either family. Our prayers go out to both families in the wake of this tragedy.