TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Dennis Byrd, the former NFL defensive lineman whose career was ended by neck injury, was killed Saturday in a car accident. He was 50.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said Byrd was killed in a two-vehicle collision on Oklahoma 88 north of Claremore.
Byrd starred at Tulsa before playing for the New York Jets.
Byrd was midway through his fourth NFL season when he was briefly paralyzed during a game on Nov. 29, 1992, against Kansas City. He broke his neck after slamming head-first into the chest of a teammate as Chiefs quarterback David Krieg stepped forward to avoid a sack.
He never fully recovered from the injury, walking with some difficulty and going through continuous rehabilitation during the years since. But Byrd, a devout Christian, wrote a book in 1993 called "Rise and Walk," which detailed how he relied on his faith and family to push through his injury to recover and serve an inspiration to others who went through similar situations. Byrd's story was later made into a made-for-TV movie.
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