As JaJuan Dawson and his family enjoyed the summer weather at a North Texas lake over the weekend, tragedy struck.
The 37-year-old father and former Houston Texans wide receiver fell into the water and never emerged, his body recovered Monday night, the Houston Chronicle reported.
According to WFAA, JaJuan was being towed behind a rented pleasure boat on an inflatable tube when he fell off and into Lavon Lake Sunday.
The boat had been rented from a marina nearby, and the incident took place near Clear Lake Park, NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported. Dawson had spent the day with his wife, two children, brother, sister-in-law, and a niece, the Washington Post added.
Alcohol isn’t believed to have contributed to the accident.
JaJuan Dawson was friendly, engaging and successful before and after the NFL. I am crushed. All the best to his family.— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) July 14, 2015
Sad news today about Gibson native/former HLB & Tulane player JaJuan Dawson. May peace be with his family & friends. pic.twitter.com/8sQ1xnE2Gl— Chris Singleton (@courierchris) July 14, 2015
Saddened by the tragic news of former Tulane classmate, and overall good person, JaJuan Dawson— Bobby Aguilera (@BobbyAguilera) July 14, 2015
By all accounts JaJuan Dawson was a world-class teammate, friend and father as well as legendary #Tulane WR. He will be very missed.— Scott Kushner (@ScottDKushner) July 14, 2015
Officials have confirmed that JaJuan wasn’t wearing a life jacket. Family said they didn’t know whether he could swim.
The incident occurred in the early evening. Divers combed the water near an island for Dawson, continuing until 11 p.m. when they had to suspend operations due to visibility issues. When the search resumed the next day, family and friends anxiously waited on shore.
Then came the devastating news — a body believed to be JaJuan was discovered about 11:35 p.m. that night under 47 feet of water. The medical examiner will have to confirm the identity, but officials believe it’s JaJuan.
They also haven’t released an official cause of death, but presume it to be drowning.
According to the Post, floods earlier in the summer had raised the lake. Boaters were hence warned about debris lurking in the water.
Dawson was born in Houston. In 2000, he played 16 games for the Cleveland Browns and moved to the Texans in 2002, the Chronicle added. He played briefly with the Colts in 2003, but never hit the field.
Since his days in the NFL, Dawson lived a normal life with his wife and children, and worked as a senior sales rep for a medical supply company.
[Photo Courtesy of Twitter]