Family, friends, and football fans mourn his loss.
Former NFL running back Cedric Benson, who played for the Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, and Green Bay Packers during his career, died in a motorcycle crash over the weekend. He was 36.
Police told local news station KXAN that a driver in a minivan was trying to make a left turn onto FM2222 in Austin, Texas. That’s when the driver crashed into Benson on his bike. It’s unclear whether speed was a factor, but police are currently still investigating.
However, like all neighborhoods, residents in the area were well aware that this intersection at Mount Bonnell Road is a dangerous one, and that visibility is an issue. As the video above points out, visibility is even worse at night because there’s a lot of tree cover, curves and hills, and only one street light to illuminate the whole area.
Local resident Duncan Cameron told KXAN, “Coming down the hill, it’s a blind valley. You’ve got maybe a couple of seconds before you’ll see someone coming all the way across. It’s just by luck that you don’t hit something.”
Homeowner Josh Bohls, who heard the crash while in his backyard and was first on scene, said, “We’ve lived in the house for almost 20 years. We never take a left out of the intersection. We always tell friends that come over ‘go out to the light at Mesa don’t take a left here it’s too dangerous.”
In the wake of Benson’s death, local residents are now pushing for changes to the intersection to prevent other serious incidents from happening there. Such good intentions can’t bring Benson back to his friends, family, or the nonprofit he started in Austin to help underprivileged children—but it’s still one potentially positive thing to come from this terrible event.
Benson was considered one of the most prolific rushers in NCAA and University of Texas history. He rushed for a total of 5,540 yards playing college football in Texas and won the Doak Walker award in 2004 for best college running back in the country.
In 2005, he was drafted fourth overall by the Chicago Bears. Cincinnati Bengals president Mike Brown credited Benson with leading the team to a Division Championship during only his second season with the Bengals.
Benson touched a lot of lives, both on and off the field—and RideApart extends our sincere condolences to all his friends and family who are missing him today.