According to the Houston Chronicle, the fatal collision occurred after a car sped through a red light and collided with another. Hayden, along with his University of Houston teammates Zack McMillian and Ralph Oragwu, died in the crash.
The driver who neglected the red light died at the scene.
Four people died at the scene, while two other victims died after police transported them to the hospital. A woman is hospitalized for her “life-threatening injuries.”
Jeffery Lewis, a former player for the University of Houston, was injured during the crash but will recover, according to a statement from the school.
A witness at the scene spoke with investigators to give a statement.
Hayden, who has an outstanding football record, was a two-time All-Conference USA honoree and was the 12th pick for the Los Vegas Raiders (2013-16) during the 2013 NFL draft.
He had 328 tackles, 4.5 sacks, four interceptions and four fumbles in 92 games while with the Raiders, Detroit Lions (2017), Jacksonville Jaguars (2018-20) and Washington Commanders (2021).
Hayden overcame a heart injury he obtained during practice in 2021 after a collision, getting discharged from the hospital after a week.
The Raiders released a statement regarding Hayden’s death.
“The Raiders Family is mourning the tragic loss of former cornerback D.J. Hayden,” the Raiders statement said. “D.J.’s courage, perseverance, and dedication to his teammates will be fondly remembered by everyone who knew him. The prayers of the entire Raider Nation are with D.J.’s loved ones at this time.”
The University of Houston dropped a statement addressing the death of Hayden, McMillian and Oragwu.
“The entire University of Houston community is heartbroken over the tragic passing of former Football student-athletes D.J. Hayden, Zachary McMillian and Ralph Oragwu earlier today, and our thoughts and prayers remain with Jeffery Lewis in his recovery ahead,” U of H’s Athletics statement read. “We extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends, and loved ones as we collectively mourn the loss of three individuals who made an indelible impact on each life they touched. While their combined talents provided Houston Football some of its most unforgettable moments, their unique legacies will best be remembered for the way they loved their teammates, supported their communities and defied the odds.”