By Steve Corkran
Monday, November 18th, 2013 at 4:42 pm in Oakland Raiders.
By Erin Ivie and Rick Hurd Bay Area News Group
OAKLAND — Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Thomas Howard died early Monday morning after losing control of his speeding BMW and crashing into multiple cars across both sides of Interstate 880, killing a driver heading in the opposite direction, officials said.
The fiery crash occurred about 12:50 a.m. when Howard was reportedly driving at high speed and crashed his BMW into the back of a big rig on northbound I-880 between Fifth and 10th Avenues, California Highway Patrol Officer Daniel Hill said. The 30-year-old linebacker’s car flipped over the center median into the southbound lanes before careening into an oncoming Honda CR-V driven by 64-year-old Zenglong Liu, of Hayward.
Both men were pronounced dead at the scene by first responders, who arrived to find the wreckage sprawled across the southbound freeway, Hill said. Howard’s BMW was discovered on its roof in the far left lane, and Liu’s Honda was blocking the far right lanes.
Several of Howard’s former teammates, both with the Raiders and Bengals, expressed their shock and condolences via Twitter. The Raiders did not issue a statement as of Monday afternoon.
The driver of the big rig rear-ended by Howard was not injured, Hill said, and the driver of a Chevrolet he hit in the southbound lanes sustained only minor injuries.
Howard, who was living in Alameda at the time of the crash, was drafted by the Raiders in 2006 and spent five years with the team before signing a two-year contract with the Cincinatti Bengals in 2011. He was signed by the Atlanta Falcons Oct. 22, but was waived by the team last Tuesday.
Anyone with information about the crash is urged to contact the CHP Oakland Area headquarters at 510-450-3821. Those with information also can call 1-800-835-5247.