ATLANTA, GA- Thomas Howard, former Atlanta Falcon linebacker, was one of two people that died on Monday in a high speed car crash in Oakland, Calif., according to KRON-TV.
It began when witnesses stated that they saw a BMW traveling around 100 to 110 miles per hour down the Interstate Highway 880. The BMW then lost control and smashed into the back of a semi-truck in the left lane. The resulting force of the impact sent Howard and his vehicle over the median where it struck a Chevrolet Monte Carlo and then crashed onto a Honda CRV.
The driver of the Honda, Zeng Long Liu, 64 was also pronounced dead on the scene according to emergency crews. The driver of the Monte Carlo was stable condition but complained of pain and was taken to the hospital.
Howard was a walk-on his freshman year at the University of Texas at El Paso. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders early in the second round of the 2006 draft. He would have four solid seasons with 381 total tackles before the Raiders waived him in 2010.
In the offseason of 2011, Howard signed on with the Cincinnati Bengals for two years on a $6.5 million contract. In the last year of his contract he tore his ACL in practice and was placed on injured reserve on September 13, 2012.
Howard was signed to the Atlanta Falcons on October 22, 2013 and was released on November 12, 2013 after Sean Weatherspoon was reactivated to the roster. Howard played in two games for the Falcons. Sean Weatherspoon spoke briefly on the loss of the former teammate who was released just last week.
“When he was here, it was a guy I kinda got close with; we had the same agent. Met him a few years back at an event with my agent,” Weatherspoon said. “Really had a connection with him, I really enjoyed my friendship with him, my heart goes out to his family.”
Weatherspoon at times seemed to struggle to stay strong during the questioning about Howard and how it will affect the team and their performance during practice and the next game. The immediate and sudden loss of a person, even if you only knew for a short period of time, that had lots of years left to live is always shocking and jarring. It’s a daily reminder that the life that we enjoy isn’t always a guarantee.
Thomas Howard was only 30 years old when his life and legacy was cut too short. He will be missed by all of his family, friends, and fans alike.
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