Atlanta Falcons: Former Falcons LB Thomas Howard Dies in a Car Crash

By Daniel Chi
NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons was presented with troubling news that Thomas Howard, who was with the team for a short period of time, was killed in a catastrophic automobile crash in Oakland.

Early Monday morning, the California Highway Patrol reported that two people were killed in a cataclysmic car crash after a speeding BMW rear-ended a big rig, spinning out of control as the car was hurled over a center divided that ultimately ended up a crashing into a CRV on Highway 880 in Oakland.

CHP Sgt. Robert Cullinan stated that the tragic car accident occurred on southbound Highway 880 between Fifth and 10th avenues around 12:50 a.m.

“The BMW was traveling northbound at a high rate of speed,” Cullinan said. “It rear-ended a big rig, rolled over several times, bouncing over the center divider wall and collided head-on with the CRV in the other lane.”

During their first round of investigation, it revealed that the BMW was speeding more than 100 mph. When it slammed into the CRV, the impact of the crash instantly killed both drivers. Although the police would not report the names of both the male drivers, the CHP described the BMW driver as a 30-year old Howard.

A former second-round pick by the Oakland Raiders back in the 2006 NFL draft, Howard played for the Oakland Raiders during the 2006-10 season, as he also played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011-12.

On Oct. 22, shortly after star linebacker Sean Weatherspoon was played on the injured reserve designated to return, the Falcons became thin at the linebacker position, which led them to sign the 30-year old Howard for depth. As Weatherspoon was ready to come back to rejoin his teammates after suffering an injury, the Falcons released Howard last Tuesday to make room.

Howard has started 78 of 93 games in the NFL, while posting 92 tackles (391 solo) with seven interceptions, six sacks, two defensive touchdowns along with 29 pass breakups during his NFL career.

Daniel Chi is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @DanielChi24, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google 

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