Dwayne Haskins, the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers, died early Saturday morning after being hit by a dump truck while strolling on a South Florida roadway. Haskins was 24 years old at the time.
According to Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Indiana Miranda, Haskins was declared dead at the scene.
“He was attempting to cross the westbound lanes of Interstate 595 as oncoming vehicles approached,” Miranda said in an emailed statement.
She did not explain Haskins’s presence on the roadway near Fort Lauderdale at the time. The crash forced the roadway’s closure for many hours, and Miranda stated that the incident was an “open traffic homicide investigation.”
Haskins was in South Florida practicing among fellow Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks, running backs, and wideouts.
“I am shocked and speechless at Dwayne Haskins’ untimely demise,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “Upon his arrival in Pittsburgh, he soon became a member of our Steelers family and was one of our hardest workers, both on the field and in our community.
Dwayne was an excellent teammate but an even better friend to so many. I am saddened beyond words.
“During this trying time, our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Kalabrya, and his entire family.”
Following a great 2018 season at Ohio State, Haskins was taken 15th overall in the 2019 draft by the Washington Commanders. Haskins spent two turbulent seasons with Washington before joining the Pittsburgh Steelers before the 2017 season.
“We are heartbroken to learn of Dwayne Haskins Jr.’s terrible death,” owners Daniel and Tanya Snyder said.
“He was a young man brimming with potential and an infectious personality. To say that we are devastated would be an understatement. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dwayne’s family and those who knew and loved him.”
“Dwayne was an exceptional young man with a bright future,” Commanders coach Ron Rivera said. “This is a really difficult time, and I am at a loss for words.
I’m sure I speak for most of our team when I say he’ll be dearly missed. Our whole staff extends our sincere sympathies, thoughts, and prayers to the Haskins family at this difficult time.”
Haskins appeared in 16 games for Washington over two seasons, collecting a Total QBR of 29.4; the league average was 63.5. He completed 12 touchdown throws while completing 14 interceptions.
Haskins’ career in Washington began with considerable controversy, as scouts and coaches fought against Snyder, picking him with the 15th selection. Haskins was a household name in Potomac, Maryland, having excelled at Bullis High School for three seasons.
Haskins started seven games as a rookie and the first four of the next season before being benched following a 31-17 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens.
Later that season, Washington dismissed Haskins, and he went unclaimed on waivers. In January 2021, he signed a reserve/future contract with Pittsburgh.
Haskins expressed humility with the choice and stated that he was excited to work hard and absorb as much information as possible from Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph.
He was signed as a third-string quarterback but appeared in just one game, filling in for Roethlisberger in a tie with the Detroit Lions after Roethlisberger was placed in the COVID-19 protocol the night before the game.
Roethlisberger paid tribute to Haskins in a tweet, saying, “I only had the pleasure of knowing D-Hask for a little period, but within that time, I met a young guy that never seemed to have a bad day.”
He arrived at work each day with a smile on his face and an abundance of energy and love in his heart. I wish we had more time in this world together, but I will treasure our shared time and laughter!”
Rudolph just tweeted, “Devastated,” in reaction to the news of Haskins’ death.
T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers recalled Haskins as an “upbeat guy.” A wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chase Claypool, shared an emotional tweet about spending time with Haskins this weekend.
“I spent your dying moments with you, and I can’t stop thinking about how unselfish you were,” Claypool wrote.
“All you cared about was ensuring the safety of those around you, and for that, I cannot express my gratitude. You are the embodiment of everything I aspire to be.”
Since joining the team, both Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert lauded Haskins’s progress, and the Steelers re-signed him as a restricted free agent to a one-year deal in March. He was expected to contend for a position with Rudolph and Mitch Trubisky.
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“We’re looking forward to seeing what Dwayne can provide, whether through competition or as a starter,” Colbert said in January.
At Ohio State, Haskins had his greatest on-field success. After playing behind J.T. Barrett for the previous two seasons, Haskins defeated Joe Burrow to become the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback heading into the 2018 season.
He validated the coaching staff’s choice by putting together probably the finest passing season in program history. He established single-season Big Ten records for throwing yards (4,831), touchdown passes (50), and total offensive yards (4,939), as well as 28 school records.
After his record-setting season, Haskins was named a Heisman Trophy finalist and a third-team Associated Press All-American.
Leader. Legend. Forever a Buckeye. pic.twitter.com/yxwaIewN9V
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) April 9, 2022
Haskins tossed three touchdown passes and 251 yards in his final game as a Buckeye, a Rose Bowl triumph against Washington.
“The death of Dwayne is beyond devastating and exceedingly tough to understand,” current Ohio State coach Ryan Day tweeted. Day previously served as Haskins’ position coach and acting head coach for the Buckeyes in 2018.
“Those who knew him well understood that he was much more than a fantastic football player. He possessed a colossal heart, an ancient spirit, and an enchanting grin. The whole Ohio State community, as well as our entire football program, is devastated.”
Additionally, the school published a statement: “The Ohio State Department of Athletics is heartbroken to learn of Dwayne Haskins’ passing Saturday morning.
During this trying time, we are thinking of the whole Haskins family. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, present and past teammates, coaches, friends, and relatives.”
“Heartbroken to learn of Dwayne Haskins Jr.’s passing,” former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer tweeted Saturday. “My thoughts and prayers are with his extraordinary family. One of Ohio State’s finest quarterbacks but an even greater son, teammate, and friend. “May God Bless!!!”
Before Saturday afternoon’s game against the Washington Capitals, the Pittsburgh Penguins observed a minute of silence in memory of Haskins.