“Oh my god. This is devastating news,” were the first words out of the mouth of University of Michigan head coach John Harbaugh after learning that Baltimore Ravens cornerback Tray Walker had been put in critical condition after a motorbike accident. Obviously, a large portion of the accident was due to bad luck on Tray’s part, but how much of the blame can be placed on Walker’s shoulders?
According to police, Walker had been tearing down the street on his dirt bike in a suburb north of Miami when he collided with a Ford Escape. Obviously, Walker’s motorbike was no match for the SUV, and he was flung aside. Tray is now in critical condition, and his vehicle was obliterated, says Walker’s uncle.
“It’s hard seeing how messed up the bike is. I just hope he’s okay.”
The initial police report concerning Walker’s incident and reactions to said report have already been discussed to death all over the internet, but what has not been talked about nearly as much is that the facts of the case that could reflect negatively on Walker.
For example, Tray was breaking the law when the collision occurred. Ordinances state that motorbikes must have a working pair of headlights in order to drive, points out The Baltimore Sun. Walker, however, chose to ignore a law specifically meant to protect drivers like Walker from disasters like this, and he paid the price.
— Ryan Gaydos (@RyanGaydos) March 18, 2016
WBAL notes that Walker was also speeding without a helmet, further evidence of his reckless disregard for his own safety.
They are saying Tray Walker of the #Ravens was not wearing a helmet, wearing dark clothes. No drugs or alcohol and not racing so far
— NFL Draft Diamonds (@DraftDiamonds) March 18, 2016
It goes without saying that Walker could have easily taken measures to greatly reduce his risk of injury. It was his decision not to.
Tray was reportedly not alone when breaking the law. Daily Mail writes that police think there was a New England Patriots player riding with Walker who fled the scene after witnessing the crash. The authorities did not name any specific names, but they have said that they want to locate Walker’s suspected accomplice to serve as an eye witness for the crime.
Ravens CB Tray Walker critical this AM after dirtbike crash & sources say cops looking for a Patriots player pic.twitter.com/CLPwB1diF7
— Eric Yutzy (@EricYutzy) March 18, 2016
This is not to minimize the seriousness of Tray’s injury. What happened was a tragedy and would not happen to anyone in a perfect world.
In Walker’s defense, the accident did occur at an intersection, and there was a stop sign that the SUV may or may not have blown through.
“Detectives are trying to determine exactly what happened, if the Ford Escape took the stop sign or if she just didn’t see Walker,” reveals Detective Dan Ferrin of the Miami-Dade police department.
Even if there was a stop sign, though, there is no doubt that the automobile would have been less likely to hit Walker if he had been using his headlights.
Despite his possible culpability, Walker is receiving loads of support from his teammates.
“Tray was like a brother to me,” said Walker’s fellow Baltimore Ravens cornerback Adrian Wilson. “Hearing some news like this hurts my heart.”
Wide receiver Breshad Perriman also chimed in.
Constantly praying for my brother tray!!! He will pull through! Trust and believe!! Luv bruh luv!
— Breshad Perriman (@B_Perriman11) March 18, 2016
— Za'Darius Smith (@TheRealZSmith) March 18, 2016
Before his accident, Walker was busy gearing up for the 2016 NFL season, and he told ESPN that he was looking forward to more playing time than he was given in his rookie season.
Unfortunately, Walker’s dreams of increased playing time have gone up in smoke after last night, and doctors are as of yet unable to tell what lasting effects Tray will suffer from the injury.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]