Baltimore Ravens cornerback Tray Walker is dead at the age of 23 after a motorcycle crash Thursday night left him with fatal head injuries, his agent confirmed to reporters.
Miami-Dade Police say Walker, 23, was riding the Honda dirt bike with no lights, no helmet and wearing dark clothing when he collided with a Ford Escape on Thursday night.
Walker was pronounced dead at 5pm EST on Friday, less than 24 hours after the crash, which took place not far from where he had attended high school at Miami Northwestern.
Hours earlier, his agent Ronald Butler had told ESPN that Walker was “fighting for his life”, prompting tweets from fans and well-wishers and a hashtag #PrayForTray.
Also in the hours before Walker died, Ravens coach John Harbaugh wrote a letter to his team, telling them of Walker’s condition, saying: “That was the kind of phone call you never want get as a coach, as a parent, as a brother, as a friend. This shook me and all of us.”
After Walker’s death, Harbaugh spoke in a statement of a “young man with a good and kind heart”.
He added: “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.
“He was coachable, did his most to improve and worked to become the best.
“I’ll never forget that smile.”
Jimmy Smith, another cornerback who worked closely with Walker, said: “Tray had a hard shell, 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.”
Walker was a fourth-round draft pick in last year’s NFL Draft. He played in eight games for the team, competing mostly on special teams and contributing one solo tackle from scrimmage.
He had dedicated his rookie campaign to his father, who died of a heart attack in November, 2014.