Former Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson was killed in a motorcycle accident on Saturday night. He was 36 years old.
The accident occurred when a white minivan tried to cross an intersection in northwest Austin, Texas, and hit his motorcycle at 10:22 p.m., according to Austin news outlet KXAN. A woman passenger on the motorcycle was also killed, and two others were injured.
CNN reports that just hours before the accident, Benson posted an Instagram photo of a motorcycle and next to it wrote “My Saturday evening,” with hearts included.
The accident occurred in the same town where Benson played as a student at the University of Texas, where he was considered a star.
The 5-foot-11 running back rushed for over 1,000 yards each season he played there and racked up 2,013 yards in his senior year. He also won the Doak Walker Award in 2004, given to the top college running back in the country.
After Texas, Benson was selected fourth overall in the NFL draft by the Chicago Bears in 2005, then played for the Cincinnati Bengals starting in 2008, where he rushed for 1,000 yards three times from 2009 to 2011.
“Very sad day with the passing of Longhorn Legend Cedric Benson,” tweeted the University of Texas football on Sunday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends and our community of lettermen. He will be missed.”
Cincinnati Bengals President Mike Brown also addressed Benson’s passing.
“Cedric was a fine football player for us,” said Brown. “Our organization is deeply saddened by his sudden and tragic passing. The Bengals extend our deepest condolences to Cedric’s family.”
“Once he bought into our system, he was like a flower,” said former Bengals coach Jim Anderson. “He just blossomed. He gave us an element we didn’t have. We had complementary guys, but Cedric gave us a missing element. He was a good man. He was one of my guys and it hurts. Life is too short.”
Dominic Benson, one of Benson’s relatives, took to Facebook on Saturday and wrote “No no no no no no God no!!!! Why him man!!!!! Not Ced man.”
Two days before the crash, Benson pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor drunk-driving charges from a February 2017 arrest. As of now, there are no reports that alcohol was involved in the crash.