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What we know and don’t know about the death of quarterback Dwayne Haskins

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Dwayne Haskins was going to fight the following season for the Steelers’ starting quarterback job. (CNN) Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins was killed when he was struck by a cargo truck Saturday morning as he tried to cross a highway on foot in South Florida, authorities said. The former Ohio State University (OSU) star and Heisman Trophy finalist was just 24 years old. Authorities have so far given few details about the circumstances of his death. Here’s what we know and don’t know about the fatal accident, his short-lived career and how those who knew him have reacted. Haskins was attempting to cross the westbound lanes of Interstate 595 near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Broward County when the cargo truck struck him, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The incident was reported shortly after 6:30 am, the patrol said. He had been “walking on (the freeway) for unknown reasons,” he added in a press release. No further details are available about what led up to the incident. In recent days, Haskins has been in South Florida working out with some Steelers teammates, as seen on Instagram stories of Haskins and running back Najee Harris. Haskins’ short-lived football career Haskins was poised to enter his fourth year in the NFL as a backup for the Steelers after a stellar college career. Rose to fame at Ohio State, where he set OSU and Big Ten Conference records as a college sophomore, including passing yards in a single season (4,831), touchdown passes (50), and offensive yards total (4,939). He led the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record and a Rose Bowl victory, and finished third in voting for the Heisman Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding player in college football. Washington selected Haskins with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, but he didn’t live up to his lofty status. He played 16 games over two seasons for Washington, compiling a 3-10 record in 13 starts. Haskins was released in December 2020, toward the end of his second season, after sitting out on the bench in a loss and being fined an undisclosed amount for violating the team’s COVID-19 protocols by going without a mask to his girlfriend’s birthday party. A month after his departure, the Steelers signed him, although he did not appear in any regular season games with Pittsburgh. Last season he was the No. 3 quarterback behind retired Ben Roethlisberger and backup Mason Rudolph. Last month, Haskins re-signed with the Steelers on a one-year deal and set out to compete with Rudolph and new Steelers acquisition Mitchell Trubisky for spots on the depth list. “I feel like I can start in this league. They drafted me for that reason,” Haskins said in January, according to Steelers.com. “I definitely think I have the talent to do it. I just haven’t put it all together yet. And that’s something I have to do this offseason to get in position to play.” Dwayne Haskins played in 16 games over two seasons for the Washington Football Team before joining the Pittsburgh Steelers. Teammates and coaches who knew Haskins offered their condolences and regards since his death. Ohio State coach Ryan Day said Monday that team members were hurt and announced that they will honor Haskins at their spring game on Saturday. “When you think of Dwayne you just think of the compassion he certainly had for all his teammates and his friends. He always took time after practice to be with his family members, with the kids,” Day said. “He meant a lot to my family and he meant a lot to this team, and he’s going to be sorely missed.” “He’s so close to Saturday morning right now. It’s still hard to get up and see clearly right now. We’re all hurting,” he added. Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward tweeted: “Dwayne meant a lot to a lot of people.” “Her smile of his was infectious and he was a guy you wanted to be around,” Hewyard wrote. “We’re all in shock at losing him. We’re going to miss him too. We’ve lost you too soon. Luckily I got a chance to meet you. RIP DH.” Haskins’ head coach in Washington, Ron Rivera, said Saturday that he was “absolutely heartbroken” to learn of the death of his former player. “Dwayne was a talented young man with a long life ahead of him,” Rivera says in a statement. “This is a very sad time and I am truly at a loss for words. I know I speak for the rest of our team when I say that he will be sorely missed.” Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool recalled Haskins’ attitude in his last interaction with him. “I spent your last moments with you and I can’t stop thinking about how selfless you were in those moments. The only thing that mattered to you was making sure everyone around you was okay and I can’t thank you enough for that. I strive to be,” Claypool tweeted. Roethlisberger said on Twitter that while he only knew Haskins briefly, he knew he was “a young man who never seemed to have a bad day.” “He came to work every day with a smile on his face and energy and love in his heart. I really liked his passion and love for the game and for wanting to learn and be the best. His smile and his zest for life,” Roethlisberger said. “I’ll say it again like I said it to your face, I still wish I could shoot the ball like you,” he added. CNN’s Eric Levenson and Kikue Higuchi contributed to this report

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