Former New York Jets Player Dennis Byrd, Who Overcame Paralysis, Killed In A Car Accident

Tragic news tonight as we found out that Dennis Byrd, a former NFL defensive lineman, died on Saturday from a car accident. Byrd, was most famous for breaking his neck in an NFL game, but then recovered and was able to walk again.

Byrd, who was only 50-years-old, was driving in Oklahoma Saturday morning when his car was struck by another vehicle. Oklahoma Highway Patrol officials said Dennis Byrd was killed and two minors were injured in the collision. A 17-year-old boy driving a 2000 Ford Explorer traveled left of center and struck a 2004 Hummer H2. The teen was taken to the hospital with injuries to his head, trunk, arms and legs. A 12-year-old passenger of Byrd’s vehicle was also taken to the hospital with multiple injuries. Byrd was pronounced dead at the scene.

Byrd played four years at Tulsa and is a member of TU’s Hall of Fame. He was drafted by the New York Jets in 1989 in second-round. His career came to a horrific end in 1992 when he suffered a severe neck injury in a game and was told he would never walk again. However, with his determination and physical therapy, he was able to walk on the field for the Jets’ 1993 home opener, where he was presented with a team Most Inspirational Player Award that has since been named for him.

Byrd’s number 90 was retired by the Jets in 2012.