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Wednesday, December 6, 2023


Hayden, two other former UH football players killed in car crash in Houston

D.J. Hayden played two year at Houston before being selected 12th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft. | Rebekah Stearns/The Cougar

Three former Houston football players, including former NFL first-round corner D.J. Hayden, were among six people killed in a car crash in Houston early Saturday morning.

Hayden, along with former defensive back Zach McMillan and offensive lineman Ralph Oragwu were among four people pronounced dead at the scene after a car ran past a red light going over the speed limit, colliding with another vehicle. Four other people involved in the accident were hospitalized, two of whom were announced deceased shortly thereafter. Another former player, Jeffery Lewis, survived the crash and was hospitalized.

Hayden made headlines after surviving a freak injury to his heart during practice in 2012. Hayden went on to earn First Team All-Conference USA honors and was drafted 12th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders, playing eight seasons professionally.

McMillan played four years at UH, earning All-American Athletic Conference Second Team honors in 2013. Oragwu played five years at Houston.

Both players involved were part of the 2011 Conference USA runner-up team that finished the season 13-1, winning the TicketCity Bowl over No. 24 Penn State.

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