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Former paralyzed Jets lineman Dennis Byrd dies in car crash

Sporting News Sporting News 16/10/2016
Dennis Byrd © (Getty Images) Dennis Byrd

Former Jets defensive lineman Dennis Byrd, who saw his NFL career end after a neck injury, was killed Saturday following a two-vehicle collision in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol announced,via the Tulsa World. He was 50 years old.

Byrd, who played at the University of Tulsa before playing four seasons for the Jets beginning in 1989, was driving a 2004 Hummer H2 when a vehicle driven by a 17-year-old veered into the oncoming lane, striking Byrd's vehicle. Byrd was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 17-year-old driver and a 12-year-old passenger in Byrd's vehicle were transported in critical condition.

Byrd was paralyzed from the waist down after a collision during a game with the Chiefs in 1992. He was eventually able to walk again, leading him to share his life story through a book, "Rise and Walk: The Trial and Triumph of Dennis Byrd."

He was also the subject of a made-for-television film, "Rise and Walk: The Dennis Byrd Story."

The Jets retired Byrd's No.90 jersey in 2012.

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