Former NFL and Texas running back Cedric Benson was killed Saturday night in a motorcycle crash in Austin, Texas. He was 36.
His family confirmed his death to the Austin American-Statesman. Official confirmation from the Travis County medical examiner was expected as early as Sunday afternoon.
Benson’s passenger, identified only as woman in her 30s, also was killed, according to the Austin-Travis County EMS. Both were declared dead on the scene.
TMZ reported Sunday morning that Benson’s motorcycle ran into a minivan.
The EMS said the crash occurred after 10 p.m. Saturday and that two other people sustained injuries that weren’t life-threatening.
North Carolina coach Mack Brown, who recruited Benson when he was Texas’ coach, responded to an Instagram post, writing: “We lost a great one way too soon #RIP.”
Benson played for the Longhorns from 2001-04 and rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons, included 1,834 yards as a senior. He rushed for 5,540 yards and had 64 rushing touchdowns, adding 621 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back in 2004, then was drafted No. 4 overall the following year by the Chicago Bears.
At the time he left Texas, he was No. 6 on the NCAA rushing list in yards gained. He still is No. 10 on the all-time list
Benson spent three seasons in Chicago but achieved his greatest success with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he played from 2008-11. In three of those seasons, he surpassed 1,000 yards rushing.
He signed as a free agent with Green Bay before the 2012 season, but his year, and his career, ended in October when he suffered a broken foot.
In his NFL career, Benson rushed for 6,017 yards and 32 touchdowns.
–Field Level Media