Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins fatally struck by a dump truck on Florida highway, police say

By Jason Hanna, Wayne Sterling and Rebekah Riess, CNN

    (CNN) -- Dwayne Haskins, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and 2018 Heisman Trophy finalist at Ohio State, was fatally struck by a dump truck Saturday morning while trying to cross a highway on foot in South Florida, police said.

Haskins, who re-signed with the Steelers just last month, was 24.

Haskins was trying to cross Interstate 595's westbound lanes in Broward County when the dump truck hit him, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

He was "walking on (the highway) for unknown reasons" when the incident happened, the patrol said in a news release.

Details about what led up to that weren't immediately available. In recent days, Haskins had been in South Florida working out with some Steelers teammates, as captured in Instagram stories from Haskins and Steelers running back Najee Harris.

News of Haskins' death drew statements of shock from around the league and beyond.

"I am devastated and at a loss for words with the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins," Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement released by the team.

"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," Tomlin's statement reads. "Dwayne was a great teammate, but even more so a tremendous friend to so many. I am truly heartbroken.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Kalabrya, and his entire family during this difficult time."

'I feel like I can be a starter in this league'

Haskins, a backup last season to the now-retired longtime Steeler Ben Roethlisberger, re-signed with the Steelers for one year last month, poised to enter his fourth year in the NFL.

"I feel like I can be a starter in this league. I got drafted for that reason," Haskins said in January, according to Steelers.com. "I definitely believe I have the talent to. I just haven't put it all together yet. And that's something I have to do this offseason to put myself in position to play."

Haskins rose to prominence at Ohio State, where he set OSU and Big Ten Conference records as a redshirt sophomore in 2018, including single-season passing yards (4,831), touchdown passes (50) and total offensive yards (4,939).

He finished third in voting for that season's Heisman Trophy, awarded to college football's most outstanding player.

Washington selected Haskins as the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Haskins played 16 games across two seasons for Washington -- starting 13 times -- before the team released him in December 2020 toward the end of his second season.

The Steelers picked him up in January 2021, though he did not enter a regular-season game for Pittsburgh.

'Absolutely heartbroken'

The Washington Commanders, Ohio State and fellow players also expressed shock and condolences.

Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward tweeted that "Dwayne meant so much to so many people."

"His smile was infectious and he was a guy you wanted to be around," Hewyard wrote. "We are all in shock about losing him. We are going to miss the heck out of him as well. We lost you way too early. Luckily I got a chance to get to know you. RIP DH."

Haskins' second head coach in Washington, Ron Rivera, said Saturday he was "absolutely heartbroken" to hear of his former player's passing.

"Dwayne was a talented young man who had a long life ahead of him," Rivera's statement reads. "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."

The Ohio State athletics department released a statement saying it was "terribly saddened to learn of the death of Dwayne Haskins Saturday morning."

"We are thinking of the entire Haskins family during this most difficult time. Our prayers are with the family, and with his current and former teammates, coaches, friends and relatives," the statement reads.

In his 16 career NFL games at Washington, Haskins threw for 2,804 yards, 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

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