Hundreds of family, friends and members of the Baltimore Ravens filed into the 93rd Street Community Baptist Church to pay respects to Tray Walker, the Ravens cornerback who died after being injured in a dirt bike crash in northwest Miami-Dade.
Multiple players and coaches were in attendance including Pro Bowl wide receiver Steve Smith and head coach John Harbaugh, who told stories about Walker, a Miami native, adjusting to the frigid Maryland winter and about his rookie’s dedication to learning the playbook and the NFL game.
Harbaugh said the thing he would remember most about Walker was his personality. He found that when the team was lined up on the sideline for the Star-Spangled Banner before games, Walker would be right behind him, potentially trying to get a little TV screen time.
“The thing I loved the most about this guy, this young man, was that Tray Walker smile,” Harbaugh said. “That smile could light up a room.”
Walker, 23, was injured March 17 at about 7:50 p.m. when he was riding a white Honda dirt bike, without a helmet and wearing dark clothing, westbound on Northwest 75th Street.
He collided with a Ford Escape that was headed south on Northwest 21st Avenue and was driven by Donzetta Coaxum, 62, who stayed on the scene. Walker was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he died the next day from his injuries.
The cornerback grew up in Miami and played for Miami Northwestern High. Walker then played at Texas Southern University in Houston and was drafted in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Ravens in 2015. In his lone season with the team he played in eight games, recorded two tackles and primarily played on special teams.
Multiple players and the Ravens organization also reacted to Walker’s death on social media, including his fellow Ravens rookie, wide receiver Breshad Perriman, and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Walker’s former Miami Northwestern teammate.
“Today we lost more than an athlete, we lost a son, a brother, a teammate, a classmate, a friend, and a GREAT person,” Bridgewater wrote in an Instagram post on March 18. “You proved that something positive can come out of Miami Northwestern and off of 71st Street.”