Baltimore Ravens cornerback Tray Walker has died from injuries sustained in a dirt bike crash in Miami.
Walker was critically injured on Thursda, March 17 while riding a dirt bike with no lights that collided with a Ford Escape truck, according to the Miami-Dade Police. The 23-year-old was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital and was listed in critical condition before succumbing to his injuries late Friday evening.
A native of Miami, Walker played a number of positions for Miami Northwestern High School, including cornerback, punter, and wide receiver. Though not as highly recruited as fellow teammates and future NFLers Amani Cooper and Teddy Bridgewater, Walker was still able to earn a scholarship to Texas Southern, where he was voted second-team All-Southwestern Conference in 2014. He was drafted by the Ravens in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
“Tray was one of the most humble persons we brought in for a pre-draft visit,” said general manager Ozzie Newsome, who was responsible for drafting him. “That was striking. After we drafted him, he and his family were so excited to receive the call that he was about to become a Raven. It was one of the calls I will always remember. There was such joy for Tray and his family.”
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh also had nothing but good things to say about Walker.
“Tray was a young man with a good and kind heart,” Harbaugh wrote in a heartfelt statement. “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.”
Though he was mostly used on the special teams unit in the eight games he played in last season, Walker made a tremendous impression on everyone in the locker room.
“Tray was a young man who was full of energy and promise,” remembers Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. “This is very hard to wrap my head around, and I am devastated.”
Fellow Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith, who played alongside Walker, echoed Flacco’s sentiments.
“Tray had a hard shell, “Smith said, “but once you broke through that, you found a person who was learning how to become a man and was so eager to be a great person and professional. I am heartbroken for his family.”
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti also issued a statement expressing grief and disbelief.
“We have two sons not too much older than Tray, and we can’t imagine how much his family is suffering,” team owner Steve Bisciotti said. “This is so sad. The right words are hard to find at a time like this. As much as we can comfort Tray’s mom and the rest of his family, we will.”
Authorities say they are still investigating the accident and that thus far no charges have been filed.