Investigators Believe He Could Be Victim Of Alcohol-Related Crash: 24-Year-Old Minnesota Vikings Rookie Khyree Jackson Dies Along With Two Others

A tragedy has struck the NFL family as Minnesota Vikings rookie cornerback Khyree Jackson was reportedly killed in a tragic accident in the early hours of Saturday morning. The Oregonian reports that according to Jackson’s agent, the 24-year-old’s tragic death comes as the result of an automobile accident.

Minnesota Vikings 2024 fourth-round draft pick Khyree Jackson dies in a fatal car crash.
Minnesota Vikings 2024 fourth-round draft pick Khyree Jackson (left, with rookie quarterback J.J. McCarthy) died along with two others in a car crash on July 6. (Photo: Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Jackson’s mother confirmed the news to TMZ. She says she received the unfathomable call  at 4 a.m. on Saturday that her son had died in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. 

Jackson’s journey to the NFL was truly a legendary one in the making, basically being out of football and working at a grocery store deli to make ends meet, and then persevering and eventually reaching his dream. 

Jackson’s football journey started at  Dr. Henry Wise High School in Upper Marlboro before attending Fort Scott Community College. He wasn’t really playing football at all in 2017 and 2018. 

“At one point I wasn’t thinking of football much,” Jackson said in a prior interview posted on X. “I had just won employee of the month at the grocery store. I was also trying to make it in the NBA 2K league.”

“For a bit of a second football got a little foggy, I’d definitely say”

Jackson said his friends inspired him to give football another shot and it paid off. 

He then transferred to East Mississippi Community College for the 2020 season, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Then he played for powerhouse Alabama for two years, seeing action in 21 games in Tuscaloosa, before transferring to Oregon for the 2023 season.

Jackson was a first-team All-Pac 12 selection with the Ducks, producing 34 tackles, seven pass defenses and three interceptions in 12 games, as his name shot up draft boards. The Vikings selected him in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL draft (No. 108 overall) and he was expected to provide depth to a Minnesota’s secondary that was ranked 27th out of 32 teams coming into this season. 

Jackson Was Expected To Increase Depth In Poor Vikings Secondary

Defensive coordinator Brian Flores introduced a complex and unorthodox defense in 2023, and the results were mixed. Safety Camryn Bynum was the highest-graded player in the secondary (73.2). The Vikings don’t have great players in the secondary and they have a rookie quarterback in J.J. McCarthy who doesn’t need to be down 13-0 before he touches the ball. The 24-year-old Jackson was supposed to help with that. 

Jackson’s Vikings teammate, defensive end Jonathan Greenard, took to social media on Saturday morning to mourn the rookie cornerback’s death.

Many heartfelt messages went out from a stunned NFL family. 

Two Other People Died In Crash

Two other occupants of the car died. A press release from the Maryland State Police indicated that Jackson was in the passenger seat at the time of the crash. The car Jackson was in was struck by another vehicle attempting to change lanes at a high rate of speed.

The police statement said that investigators believe alcohol may have contributed to the crash, and that charges are pending the investigation, which the Maryland State Police Crash Team is leading.

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell released a statement:

“I am absolutely crushed by this news. Khyree brought a contagious energy to our facility and our team. His confidence and engaging personality immediately drew his teammates to him. In our short time together, it was evident Khyree was going to develop into a tremendous professional football player, but what was more impressive was his desire to become the best person he could be for his family and those around him. I am at a loss for words. My heart goes out to Khyree’s family, friends, teammates and coaches.”

We have lost several great football players over the years to car crashes, most notably former Philadelphia Eagles star Jerome Brown. Thirty-two years ago, the star defensive tackle, just 27, died following an automobile accident in Brooksville, Florida. His 12-year-old nephew was also killed when Brown lost control of his ZR1 Chevy Corvette at high speed and crashed into a palm tree. 

Last season, Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs killed a lady and her dog driving drunk at excessive speeds. He is currently incarcerated. There’s no confirmed evidence of Jackson or whoever was driving being intoxicated based upon initial reports. The occupants of the other car may have been intoxicated and police feel that could be the case. In any event, prayers go up to Jackson’s family.

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