TANGIPAHOA, La. (CBS/AP) — An early morning accident has claimed the lives of two people, including former NFL player Michael Jackson.
Louisiana State Police Senior Trooper Dustin Dwight said it happened about 1 a.m. Friday on U.S. 51, south of the Village of Tangipahoa (tan-JUH-puh-ho-uh). After his retirement from football, Jackson held served as the mayor the village from 2009-2012.
Dwight said the 48-year-old Jackson, of Tangipahoa, was riding a motorcycle north on U.S. 51 at a high rate of speed, when 20-year-old Destiny Gordon, of Kentwood, Louisiana, backed her car from a parking space across both lanes of the highway into the motorcycle’s path. Because of the motorcycle’s speed, it penetrated the driver’s side door, killing both Jackson and Gordon, investigators said.
Jackson, whose full name is Michael Dywane Jackson Dyson, played eight NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens from 1991-98.
He played in college at Southern Mississippi, catching passes from future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.
Jackson was drafted by the Browns in the sixth round of the 1991 draft.
Current Patriots coach Bill Belichick was responsible for drafting Jackson when he was the head coach of the Browns in 1991.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of Michael Jackson’s passing,” Belichick said in a statement released by the Patriots on Friday. “Michael was a member of our very first draft class in Cleveland and developed from being a raw, late round talent out of Southern Miss to becoming a solid and productive receiver in our offense. My thoughts and condolences are with Michael’s family and his many friends and fans.”
Jackson’s best season was in 1996 with the Ravens, when he caught 76 passes for 1,201 yards and a league-high 14 touchdowns. He finished his career with 353 catches for 5,393 yards and 46 touchdowns.
In a statement, Ravens General Manager and Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome said he was saddened by the news of Jackson’s death.
“He was a vibrant person who became one of the Ravens’ heroes and a popular player among Baltimore fans,” Newsome said. “Well known for his big smile and welcoming nature, it was easy to feel a special connection with Michael. As we remember Michael fondly, we extend our condolences to everyone who knew him and those families affected by this tragedy.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)