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Vikings Rookie Khyree Jackson Dies in Maryland Car Accident

Khyree Jackson
Khyree Jackson

EAGAN, Minn. — Vikings rookie cornerback Khyree Jackson tragically passed away following a car accident in his home state of Maryland, the team announced Saturday.

The organization pledged support for Jackson's family, teammates and coaches in the following statement:

"We are devastated by the news of Khyree Jackson's death following an overnight car accident. While we work to gather more information, we have spoken to Khyree's family and offered the support of the Minnesota Vikings. We have also communicated the news to Vikings players, coaches and staff and have offered counseling for those who need emotional support. Our thoughts are with Khyree's family, friends, teammates and coaches, as well as all the victims of this tragic accident."

Jackson, 24, was selected by Minnesota with the 108th overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft. His personality shined immediately through a video interview with Twin Cities media members.

His path to the NFL included multiple college stops, including Alabama and then Oregon, and he was excited to fulfill his dream at football's highest level.

Tall and lanky (6-foot-4 and 194 pounds), Jackson routinely showed a broad and friendly smile during interactions, quickly endearing himself with teammates, coaches and staff members during Vikings rookie minicamp and the team's offseason program.

Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell said he is "absolutely crushed" by this news.

"Khyree brought a contagious energy to our facility and our team. His confidence and engaging personality immediately drew his teammates to him," O'Connell added. "In our short time together, it was evident Khyree was going to develop into a tremendous professional football player, but what was more impressive was his desire to become the best person he could be for his family and those around him. I am at a loss for words. My heart goes out to Khyree's family, friends, teammates and coaches."

Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said he is "heartbroken by the loss of Khyree."

"As we got to know him throughout the pre-draft process, it was clear the goals Khyree wanted to accomplish both professionally and personally," Adofo-Mensah said. "His story was one of resilience. He was taking steps to become the best version of himself not just for him, but for those who cared about and looked up to him.

"Khyree's personality captured every room he was in. I'm devastated that his life and everything he had in front of him has been cut short," Adofo-Mensah added. "My thoughts are with Khyree's family and friends, those who played with and coached him in college, and his teammates and coaches here at the Vikings."

Jackson's dream had seemed so far away after he left Arizona Western Community College because he was homesick. He returned to Maryland and worked at a grocery store deli, earning employee of the month honors. Jackson gave football another try at Fort Scott Community College and then East Mississippi Community College, which had its 2020 season cancelled.

Khyree Jackson
Khyree Jackson

Jackson then transferred to Alabama, where he played two seasons (2021-22), where he teamed with fellow draft classmates Dallas Turner and Will Reichard.

Last fall, Jackson shined at Oregon, garnering All-Pac-12 honors from The Associated Press and the conference's coaches, as well as an invitation to the Reese's Senior Bowl.

Vikings Owners Mark and Zygi Wilf said they are "deeply saddened" by the news.

"Khyree had an extremely bright future ahead of him as a player, and it was clear he was dedicated to being a tremendous person who made a positive difference in people's lives. We are thinking about Khyree's family and friends and all members of the Minnesota Vikings following this devastating loss."

Maryland State Police announced Saturday they are investigating the crash in which Jackson, Anthony Lytton, Jr., and Isaiah Hazel perished.

Hazel, Jackson and Lytton were teammates at Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr., High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

According to a press release issued by Maryland State Police, all three victims were occupants of a maroon Dodge Charger. Hazel was driving, Jackson was in the front passenger seat and Lytton was in the rear seat of the vehicle.

The release indicated troopers responded to a crash after 3 a.m. Saturday and found three vehicles were involved. According to a preliminary investigation, the Charger was struck by a silver Infinity Q50 and traveled off the road. The Infinity Q50 then struck a silver Chevrolet Impala.

Occupants of the Infinity Q50 and Chevrolet Impala reported no injuries, according to the press release.

The Maryland State Police Crash Team is leading the investigation.