ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
IRVING, Texas — Dallas Cowboys practice-squad linebacker Jerry Brown was killed in a one-car accident today and teammate Josh Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter.
Irving police spokesman John Argumaniz said the accident happened about 2:20 a.m. today in the Dallas suburb. Brent was speeding when the vehicle hit a curb and flipped at least once, Argumaniz said.
Argumaniz said the 25-year-old Brown — also Brent's teammate at the University of Illinois for three seasons — was found unresponsive at the scene and pronounced dead at a hospital.
The police spokesman said officers conducted a field sobriety test on Brent and arrested him. The charge was upgraded after Brown was pronounced dead.
"We are deeply saddened by the news of this accident and the passing of Jerry Brown," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. "At this time, our hearts and prayers and deepest sympathies are with the members of Jerry's family and all of those who knew him and loved him."
The team said in a statement that Brent was not on the team flight to Cincinnati, where the Cowboys play the Bengals on Sunday.
Argumaniz said Brent was being held without bond. Brent is named as Joshua Price-Brent in the police news release. Argumaniz also said Brent missed a 10 a.m. Saturday booking session with a judge because he was intoxicated. He did not know if Brent had an attorney.
Police received 911 calls from motorists who saw the upside-down vehicle but they did not immediately have any eyewitnesses to the wreck. Argumaniz said.
He said when officers arrived at the scene on a state highway service road, Brent was dragging Brown from the vehicle, a Mercedes, which was on fire. Officers quickly put out the small blaze, he said.
Argumaniz wasn't sure if the vehicle was a car or SUV and said it wasn't known how fast the vehicle was travelling. The road has a 45 mph limit.
"I can say investigators are certain they were travelling well above the posted speed limit," Argumaniz said.
Before he was taken to the jail, Brent went to a hospital for a blood draw for alcohol testing and also received treatment for some minor scrapes.
Argumaniz said Brent identified himself to officers as a Cowboys player.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
Brent was arrested in February 2009 near the Illinois campus for driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license and speeding, according to Champaign County, Ill., court records.
In June 2009, Brent pleaded guilty to DUI and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, two years of probation, 200 hours of community service and a fine of about $2,000. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors dropped one count of aggravated DUI/no valid driver's license. Brent successfully completed his probation in July 2011, court records show.
The accident happened a week after another NFL tragedy. Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then committed suicide Dec. 1.
Brent has played in all 12 games this season and has been a bigger presence on defense with starting nose guard Jay Ratliff battling injuries. He made his first career start in the season opener against the New York Giants and has 35 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks.
The Cowboys signed Brown to their practice squad Oct. 24, but he hasn't been on the active roster. He was released from the Indianapolis Colts' practice squad Oct. 20.
"On behalf of the entire Colts family, our sincerest condolences go out to Jerry's family and friends, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said in a statement. "He was a good teammate that was well liked by all. Today's tragic news is just another reminder of how fragile life is and how everyday given is a gift."
Brown played for San Antonio in the Arena Football League this year. In 2011, he played for Jacksonville in the AFL and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League.
He was born and grew up in St. Louis, attending Vashon High School.