PITTSBURGH, Pa. (NewsNation) – Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was killed Saturday when he was hit by a dump truck while he was walking on a South Florida highway. He was 24.
Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Indiana Miranda confirmed the crash on westbound Interstate 595. Haskins was pronounced dead at the scene.
Miranda didn’t say why the 24-year-old Haskins was on the highway at the time. The crash caused the highway to be shut down for several hours.
“He was just walking on the highway and got hit,” Miranda told The Associated Press.
Haskins’ death sparked an outpouring of grief from multiple corners of the NFL, particularly with his former teammates with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Commanders.
“I am devastated and at a loss for words with the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins,” head coach Mike Tomlin said. “He quickly became part of our Steelers family upon his arrival in Pittsburgh and was one of our hardest workers, both on the field and in our community.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Kalabrya, and his entire family during this difficult time.”
The 24-year-old Haskins was selected by Washington in the first round of the 2019 draft out of Ohio State. He started seven games as a rookie, going 2-5. He was 1-5 in six starts the next season for the team, then was released.
Washington coach Ron Rivera said he was “absolutely heartbroken” to learn of Haskins’ death.
“Dwayne was a talented young man who had a long life ahead of him,” Rivera said in a release. “This is a very sad time and I am honestly at a loss for words. I know I speak for the rest of our team in saying he will be sorely missed. Our entire team is sending our heartfelt condolences and thoughts and prayers to the Haskins family at this time.”
Ohio State posted a photo of Haskins on its Twitter feed. It read: “Leader. Legend. Forever a Buckeye.”
Ohio State football head coach Ryan Day spoke at a news conference Monday to discuss Haskins and his legacy.
Day said that he remembered Haskin’s compassion, his willingness to stay after practice, work with teammates and how he was a big-brother figure to current players.
After being released by Washington, Haskins joined the Steelers as a free agent in 2021 and spent a season with Pittsburgh. Humbled by the decision, Haskins stressed he was eager to work hard and absorb as much as he could from Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph. He made the roster as the third-stringer but only dressed once, serving as the backup in a tie with Detroit after Roethlisberger was placed in the COVID-19 protocol the night before the game.
“The world lost a great person today,” Steelers star T.J. Watt posted on Twitter. “When Dwayne first walked into the locker room I could tell he was an upbeat guy. He was always making people smile, never taking life for granted.”
Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert both praised Haskins for his improvement since joining the team, and the Steelers re-signed him to a one-year deal as a restricted free agent in March. He was expected to compete with Rudolph and Mitch Trubisky for a spot.
“We’re excited to see what Dwayne can provide, either from competition, or maybe he evolves as a starter,” Colbert said in January.
Haskins appeared to be working in South Florida this week with several teammates, including Trubisky and other skill position players, including running back Najee Harris and tight end Pat Freiermuth.
“Devastated,” Rudolph said on social media.
“Doesn’t seem real. Those who knew him knew how special he was. Heartbreaking, RIP Dwayne. Lord be with his family,” Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith tweeted.
Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool is still trying to understand what happened to his friend. In a video posted on Twitter, he said, “I was just with you, man, and I love you brother.”
In his lone season as a starter at Ohio State University, Haskins threw for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdown passes. For his career as a Buckeye, Haskins threw for 54 career touchdowns.
The Buckeye Twitter account shared a photo of Haskins’ jersey hanging with the caption, “Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye.”
ESPN was the first to report Haskins had died.
The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate WKBN contributed to this report.