The former Ohio State University star and Heisman Trophy finalist was only 24.
Authorities have so far released few details about the circumstances surrounding his death. Here’s what we know and do not know about the fatal crash, his short-lived career, and how those who knew him have reacted.
Haskins was trying to cross the westbound lanes of Interstate 595 near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Broward County when the dumper hit him, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The incident was reported shortly after 6:30 p.m., the patrol said. He had “gone on (the highway) for unknown reasons,” the patrol said in a press release.
Further information on what led to the incident was not available.
In recent days, Haskins was in South Florida, training with some Steelers teammates, as captured in Instagram stories from Haskins and returning Najee Harris.
His short football career
Haskins was poised to enter his fourth year in the NFL as a backup for the Steelers after an amazing college career.
He became prominent in Ohio State, setting OSU and Big Ten Conference records as a second vintage in the red jersey in 2018, including single-season passing yards (4,831), touchdown passes (50) and total offensive yards (4,939). He led the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record and a Rose Bowl victory, and he finished third in the Heisman Trophy poll, which is awarded to college football’s most outstanding player.
Washington selected Haskins as the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, but he did not live up to his high status. He played 16 games across two seasons for Washington and compiled a record of 3-10 in 13 starts.
Haskins was released in December 2020 towards the end of his second season after being benched in a loss and after being fined an undisclosed amount for violating the team’s Covid-19 protocols by walking maskless for his girlfriend’s birthday party.
A month after his release, the Steelers picked him up, even though he did not participate in a regular season game for Pittsburgh. He spent last season as a third-string quarterback behind the now retired longtime Steeler Ben Roethlisberger and backup Mason Rudolph.
Last month, Haskins re-signed with the Steelers for a year and had to compete with Rudolph and new Steelers acquisition Mitchell Trubisky for positions on the depth chart.
“I feel like I can be a starter in this league. I was drafted for that reason,” Haskins said in January, according to Steelers.com. “I definitely believe I have the talent to. I just have not put it all together yet. And that’s something I have to do in this offseason to put myself in a position to play.”
How teammates and coaches remember him
Teammates and coaches who knew Haskins offered their condolences and are remembered since his death.
Ohio State coach Ryan Day said Monday that members of the team were injured and announced that they will honor Haskins at their spring game on Saturday.
“When you think of Dwayne, you just think of the compassion he had, certainly for all his teammates and his friends. He always took time after training to be around family members, kids,” he said. “He meant a lot to my family and he meant a lot to this program and he will be greatly missed.
“It’s so close to Saturday morning right now. It’s still hard to get our feet under us and see clearly right now. We’re all in pain,” he added.
Steelers defensive tackle Cameron Heyward tweeted
“Dwayne meant so much to so many people.”
“His smile was contagious, and he was a guy you’d like to be with,” Hewyard wrote. “We’re all in shock at losing him. We’ll also miss him. We lost you way too soon. Luckily I got a chance to get to know you. RIP DH.”
Haskins’ Washington head coach Ron Rivera said on Saturday he was “absolutely devastated” to hear of his former player’s passing.
“Dwayne was a talented young man who had a long life ahead of him,” Rivera says is the opinion
. “This is a very sad time and I honestly lack words. I know I am speaking on behalf of the rest of our team by saying he will be greatly missed.”
Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool
remembered Haskins’ selflessness in his last interaction with him.
“I spent your last moments with you, and I can not help but think about how selfless you were in those moments. The only thing you worried about was making sure everyone around you was okay, and that “I can not thank you enough for that. You are what I strive to be,” Claypool tweeted
Roethlisberger said on Twitter
even though he only knew Haskins for a short time, he knew he was “a young man who never seemed to have a bad day.”
“He came to work every day with a smile on his face and energy and love in his heart. I really enjoyed his passion and love for the game and wanting to learn and be the best. His smile and zest for life will be missed !,” Roethlisberger said. “I say it again, just like I said to you, I still wish I could throw the ball like you,” he added.