Former NFL receiver Michael Jackson was killed early Friday morning in a motorcycle accident just outside of Tangipahoa, La.
Jackson's motorcycle was traveling "at a high rate of speed" around 1 a.m. Friday when it crashed into a auto that was backing out of a parking space and into both lanes of the highway, ESPN said, citing a police report.
Jackson played for the Cleveland Browns from 1991-95 and the Baltimore Ravens from 1996-98, before retiring that year at age 29. He ran unsuccessfully for a state representative seat in Louisiana but later won election as the mayor of Tangipahoa and served from 2009-12. Police said Jackson was driving so fast that the motorcycle "penetrated into the driver's compartment", killing both of them.
"Today, our hearts are saddened by the very bad news involving Michael", Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. He finished his career with 353 catches for 5,393 yards and 46 touchdowns.
"He was a vibrant person who became one of the Ravens' heroes and a popular player among Baltimore fans", Newsome said. Jackson's best year came in 1996, when he had 76 catches for 1,201 yards and a league-high 14 touchdowns for the Ravens in their first year in Baltimore. "Injuries cut his career short after the '99 season, one year before the Ravens" first Super Bowl championship.
He played in college at Southern Mississippi, catching passes from future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.
Michael Jackson was more than a great player, he was a great man.
"Michael was also a community leader who inspired many people", Newsome said.
Our condolences go out to Jackson's friends and family for their loss.