Baltimore Ravens cornerback Tray Walker, who was hit by a car while riding on a dirt bike in northwest Miami-Dade on Thursday night, died Friday, according to both his agent and his team.
Walker, 23, who grew up in Miami and graduated from Miami Northwestern High, was pronounced dead at around 5 p.m., Walker’s agent Ron Butler told the Miami Herald.
“There was a lot of head trauma. The doctors tried to get the swelling down but I guess his brain went too long without oxygen,” Butler said.
Miami-Dade police could not immediately confirm the report. But the Ravens issued a statement at 7 p.m. confirming “that Tray has passed.” Both Butler and the team cited conversations with the NFL rookie’s godmother.
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Walker was critically injured at about 7:50 p.m. Thursday while riding a white Honda dirt bike westbound on Northwest 75th Street, according to a statement issued by the Miami-Dade police. He collided with a Ford Escape going southbound on Northwest 21st Avenue driven by Donzetta Coaxum, 62. He was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where, Butler said, he may not have regained consciousness after the crash.
The Ravens were devastated by the loss.
“We have two sons not too much older than Tray, and we can't imagine how much his family is suffering,’’ said team owner Steve Bisciotti in a statement. “This is so sad. The right words are hard to find at a time like this. As much as we can comfort Tray's mom and the rest of his family, we will.”
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh remembered Walker’s smile.
“Tray was a young man with a good and kind heart,’’ he said in a statement. “He was humble and loved everything about being part of the Ravens’ team.… I'll never forget that smile. He always seemed to be next to me during the national anthem; then we would give each other a big hug.’’
The players, too, took it hard.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco noted Walker’s “energy and promise. This is very hard to wrap my head around, and I am devastated,’’ he said in a statement. As a parent, I cannot imagine what his family is going through right now. All of my thoughts are with them. My hope is that we can be a little bit of help by being a second family for them.”
Miami-Dade Police said Walker was wearing dark clothing and driving his bike without lights. Coaxum, listed as a senior trial coordinator on her Facebook page, stayed at the crash and worked with police.
Walker wasn’t wearing a helmet, according to the Baltimore Ravens website.
The agent said until the accident, he didn’t know that Walker “owned a dirt bike. I’m really hurt by the fact that it’s another young man with a promising career that lost his life on one of these bikes.”
His advice: “Don’t ride it in the street. Ride it off road. Ride it in the dirt. That’s why call it a dirt bike. And wear a helmet.”
Before the Ravens selected him in the fourth round, Walker played for Northwestern High, where he earned honorable mention as All-Dade in his senior year. At Texas Southern, he was named to the second-team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference in 2014. He studied criminal justice.
Walker played in eight games for the Ravens last season. He recorded one solo tackle from scrimmage, but competed mostly on special teams. Butler said Walker had “such a promising career.
“He was able to make it out of Miami and go to Texas Southern and get a four-year college degree,” he said. “He graduated, got drafted last year by the Baltimore Ravens. He was positioning himself to really do some great things for the team. He really loved his teammates, his organization.”