Former Georgia Southern star linebacker Edwin Jackson died in a fatal crash in Indiana early Sunday morning.
Indiana State Police say Jackson, 26, currently with the NFL's Indianapolis Colts, was one of two people killed after an alleged drunk driver hit them while standing outside their car on I-70 West in Indianapolis around 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning.
According to ESPN, the suspected drunk driver was in the United States illegally.
Police say Jackson was the passenger in a rideshare and became ill. The driver of the rideshare, 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe, pulled over to assist Jackson. That's when ISP says a Ford F-150 driven by 37-year-old Alex Cabrera Gonsales struck the back of Monroe's vehicle while also striking both Jackson and Monroe. One of the victims was thrown into the center lane of I-70.
According to ISP, a trooper responding to the wreck struck the body of that victim. ISP says before any 911 calls about the wreck were received, Trooper Ty Mays saw a vehicle make an evasive move to the left. He then saw the wrecked car along the side of the road and turned on his emergency lights. While slowing to stop for the crash, he struck the body of the victim in the center lane.
Both Jackson and Monroe were pronounced dead at the scene by the Marion Co. Coroner's Office. ISP say Gonsales initially ran from the scene, but was shortly caught by police. Indiana State Police say it is believed Gonsales was intoxicated and driving without a license. He was transported to the Marion County Jail, and the result of an intoxication test is pending.
Originally from Atlanta, Jackson played at Georgia Southern from 2011-2014. While in Statesboro, Jackson was a two-year starter for the Eagles. He led the team in tackles his junior and senior years. The former walk-on had a team-high 10 tackles in Georgia Southern's famous 2013 win over Florida.
"To learn of the news of the untimely passing of a former Eagle causes great sadness and hurt. Edwin Jackson represented not only Georgia Southern but also how a young man should live his life," Georgia Southern head football coach Chad Lunsford said in a statement released by the school Sunday. "He earned everything that he was given and has left this world way too soon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, loved ones and teammates. He will be missed."
"We are heartbroken by the sudden passing of Edwin Jackson. Edwin exemplified the qualities of a Georgia Southern student-athlete and he will be missed dearly," Georgia Southern athletic director Tom Kleinlein said in a statement. "He was a beloved Eagle who had an infectious personality, was hard working and worked for everything he earned. All of Eagle Nation is shocked and saddened right now, and our thoughts and prayers are with Edwin's family during this difficult time.”
The Colts released this statement on Jackson's death Sunday: "We were heartbroken to hear the news of Edwin Jackson's passing. Edwin was loved by all in the Colts organization. We admired his outgoing personality, competitive spirit and hard-working mentality. He was well-respected among all with whom he crossed paths, and he will be greatly missed in our locker room and throughout our entire organization. We also understand that another person lost his life in the accident, only adding to our sorrow on this day. We are shocked and saddened by this tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of both men during this difficult time."
This is a developing story. Stay with WTOC News as we gather more information.
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