Newly released 911 recordings reveal that late Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins had told his wife that he ran out of gas before he was killed while walking on a South Florida highway earlier this month.
Haskins died on April 9 after he was hit by a dump truck while attempting to cross Interstate 595. He had been in Florida for voluntary workouts with some Steelers teammates as he prepared to compete for position on the team’s depth chart, and possibly even a starting role, this offseason.
The three-plus minutes of 911 recordings were obtained and posted to Twitter this morning by Andy Slater, a host at Fox Sports 640 in Royal Palm Beach, Fla. They include calls from at least one stunned driver who witnessed the accident and from Haskins’ wife, Kalabrya, who was in Pittsburgh at the time and concerned about her husband’s safety.
“There was a man hit in front of me. I was traveling on the road and I saw a dump truck hit the man,” a woman cries after an emergency operator answers the call.”
The next call appears to be Haskins’ wife, although her first few words are unintelligible.
“...my husband, he was stuck on the side of the highway. He had to go walk and get gas and then he said he was returning to the car on the highway. We were on the phone, he said he would call me back after he finished putting the gas in and I kept calling and kept calling. He wouldn’t answer…I had his location and I just want somebody to go to the area and see if his car is there.”
A dispatcher then asks for Haskins’ location.
“Was he walking on 595?” the dispatcher asks. “I don’t want you to panic but I’m going to be honest with you. We do have an incident on the highway but I can’t confirm if that’s your husband or not.”
Tragically, it was. Haskins was 24 years old.
His passing stunned teammates, fans and NFL executives and generated interest in the mystery around how Haskins came to be walking on a multi-lane highway by himself. It also sparked a discussion of the ways in which media commentators often dehumanize athletes following an insensitive tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who broke the news of Haskins’ death and former Dallas Cowboys’ executive Gil Brandt who said in an interview that Haskins was “living to be dead.” Both have since apologized.
His family plans memorial services in New Jersey, where he was born and Maryland, where he attended high school, this weekend. Another memorial is planned for Pittsburgh on Friday.