Tray Walker, a cornerback for the Baltimore Ravens, has succumbed to his injuries and died just one day after he was involved in a dirt bike accident in Liberty City, Florida. Walker was just 23-years-old.
Just before 8 p.m. on Thursday evening, Tray Walker was riding a Honda dirt bike, along with another unnamed NFL player, on Northwest 75th Street in Liberty City, Florida, when Walker's bike collided with a Ford Escape driven by a 62-year-old woman. According to the National Post, Miami-Dade police officers said that Walker was driving his bike in the dark without his headlights on, sporting dark clothing, and was not wearing a helmet. The driver of the Ford stayed at the scene of the crash, and was cooperating with police. No charges have been filed, authorities said.Following the crash, Tray Walker was transported to Ryder Trauma Center where his agent, Ron Butler said Thursday night that he was "fighting for his life." The Ravens cornerback sustained critical head injuries in the crash, and though doctors did everything they could to try and revive him, Tray Walker succumbed to his injuries and died at around 5 p.m. Friday evening, surrounded by family and friends, Butler said in a statement.
"There was a lot of head trauma. The doctors tried to get the swelling down but I guess his brain went too long without oxygen."Following his death, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh released a statement, confirming that Walker had succumbed to his injuries and died, calling Tray a "young man with a good and kind heart," and saying that Walker's love for the Ravens was evident in everything the 23-year-old did. He remembered Tray's smile in his speech, and joked that Tray always managed to find his way next to Harbaugh during the national anthem, "then we would give each other a big hug."
Harbaugh wasn't the only one to remember Tray Walker's shining smile. Steve Smith, Jr., a wide receiver for the Ravens, also talked about Walker's smile while reminiscing about his teammate.
"Tray had a bright future ahead of him outside of football and was a guy who lit up the room with his personality. I will miss seeing him every day and seeing that bright smile he always wore. I pray that his family can find peace. Rest well, Tray."Since his death, Butler said the Ravens have sent three officials to Miami to care for, and offer their support to Walker's grieving family, saying that the team has gone "above and beyond," and that they were doing everything they could to ensure the family had all the support they needed during this trying time.According to ESPN, Tray Walker was a fourth round draft pick in 2015, and though he had only played in eight games last season, Harbaugh called him a "sponge" in mid-December, in regards to his ability to learn and adapt on the field. In his statement following Tray's death, Harbaugh referred to him as "coachable," saying that Tray "did his most to improve and worked to become the best." Ravens defensive backs coach Chris Hewitt said that Walker knew what kind of player he wanted to be and envisioned his future as a Raven.
"[A]fter last season he left our building determined that in 2016 he would be a household name in Baltimore. He had so much potential and was on his way to being a great NFL player."Walker dedicated his rookie season to his father, who succumbed to a heart attack in 2014. The day after Walker was drafted to the Ravens, Tray and his family spread his father's ashes off the coast of Miami. It was also his father's birthday.
Funeral arrangements for 23-year-old Tray Walker, who succumbed to injuries on Friday following his fatal dirt bike accident, have yet to be announced.
[AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File]