On Friday, March 18, 2016, 23-year old Tray Walker, former TSU standout and cornerback for the Baltimore Ravens died from injuries sustained in a traffic accident. Walker was riding a dirt bike without a helmet, working headlights or reflective gear on Thursday night when a 62-yr-old woman driving a Ford SUV collided with him at an intersection. He was hospitalized in critical condition after suffering massive trauma to his head.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made a statement saying, “The loss of this young man is a terrible tragedy and this is a sad day for everyone in the NFL.”
The crash happened in the Gladview area of Miami, close to where he graduated from high school, Miami Northwestern High. At Miami NW High he played alongside current Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater and current Oakland Raiders WR Amari Cooper.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh shared his thoughts in a heart-felt letter prior to Walker’s passing, “Tray was a young man with a good and kind heart. He was humble and loved everything about being part of the Ravens’ team. He loved his teammates… the practice and the preparation… and that showed every day… I’ll never forget that smile.”
Walker has ties to the Houston community in that Texas Southern University (TSU) was the only school that offered him a scholarship coming out of high school. He played at TSU from 2012–2015 and developed into one of the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s top defensive backs. The Baltimore Ravens drafted Walker in the 4th round in the 2015 NFL draft. Walker’s former TSU coach Darrell Asberry expressed that Walker was the first TSU player to be drafted in the NFL since 2000.
Charles McClelland, TSU vice president of athletics, said, “We were deeply saddened to hear about the recent accident involving Tray Walker. Tray was an outstanding student-athlete and an equally impressive young man off the field during his time here at Texas Southern. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time.”
The funeral for Tray Walker is set for Saturday, March 26th 2016 in Miami, Florida at 93rd St. Baptist Church. A public viewing will be held Friday, March 25th at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.