NFL quarterback Dwayne Haskins: Radio calls capture emergency response in deadly crash
“We’ve got one person down.” It started with reports of an unconscious person on the highway, not far from the Fort Lauderdale airport as the sun was about to rise. Then came the realization that the man, NFL star Dwayne Haskins, was dead.
Radio transmissions archived by the audio streaming website Broadcastify provide some extra details on how officers and paramedics responded to Haskins’ death on Saturday. The recordings offer a timeline of how the events unfolded after Haskins was struck by a dump truck on Interstate 595.
The sun was just minutes away from rising. Still dark out, Haskins — for reasons that are still unknown — was crossing I-595 in the westbound lanes when a dump truck struck and killed him. About 6:40 a.m., a Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue dispatcher said, “This appears to be a vehicle versus pedestrian.”
A couple minutes later, a dispatcher said, “Caller advising that there was a male hit by a dump truck at this time on 595 westbound at the I-95 off ramp, 6:41.″
By this point, paramedics and firefighters were responding. “Engine 6 arrived,” one firefighter or paramedic said on the dispatch line about 6:45 a.m. “It’s on 595 westbound before the exit. We’ve got one person down.”
Less than three minutes later, a first responder announced on the dispatch line, “Engine 6, signal seven. 6:47.″ On police and fire rescue radio codes, “signal seven” means someone is dead. Haskins died at 24, less than a month before his 25th birthday.
He was in South Florida training for the upcoming NFL season with several Pittsburgh Steelers players.
Neither a full crash report, nor audio from 911 calls, have been released to the public yet.
A driver ‘was already concerned’
One passer-by told NBC 6 he thought he saw Haskins on the highway and that he had called 911. “I was dropping off my daughter to an airline at the Fort Lauderdale Airport in the morning,” the man, identified as Chris Stanley, told the TV station.
“And what I noticed was a Mack truck, or a big tractor-trailer, with also another vehicle that started moving a little bit to the left,” he said.
“I was in the left lane and then there was the right lane. And then I noticed an individual there starting to make their way onto the road,” Stanley continued. “He was about halfway, to a quarter way in the right lane, already onto the highway and I was already concerned that somebody was going to strike him right there at that moment.”
Stanley couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.
The Florida Highway Patrol said Haskins was walking on I-595 “for unknown reasons,” FHP said in a statement. “He was attempting to cross the westbound lanes of Interstate 595 when there was oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, he collided with an oncoming dump truck.”
The Broward Sheriff’s Office referred questions to the Florida Highway Patrol, which is leading the traffic homicide investigation into the crash. That agency said no more information will be released until they conclude that investigation, which can take approximately 90 days or more.
An outpouring of shock and condolences flooded the sports world from the NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, Ohio State University, where he played college ball, and elsewhere.
“I am devastated and at a loss for words with the unfortunate passing of Dwayne Haskins,” Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement. “He quickly became part of our Steelers family upon his arrival in Pittsburgh and was one of our hardest workers, both on the field and in our community. Dwayne was a great teammate, but even more so a tremendous friend to so many. I am truly heartbroken.”
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