Former NFL wide receiver Michael Jackson was killed in a motorcycle accident early Friday morning in his hometown in Louisiana. He was 48.
Louisiana State Police said Jackson crashed into a car that was backing out of a parking space and into both lanes of the highway while the motorcycle was traveling "at a high rate of speed" around 1 a.m. Friday in Tangipahoa, La.
Jackson struck the driver's side door, and both Jackson and the driver of the car were killed, according to police.
Jackson, selected by the Browns in the sixth round of the 1991 NFL Draft out of Southern Mississippi, was one of the first stars for the Ravens after the franchise relocated from Cleveland in 1996.
"One of my most rewarding achievements after retiring as a player was watching Michael Jackson develop as a wide receiver," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. "When I joined the Cleveland Browns' scouting department, my first opportunity to work out receivers involved Michael in that group. I evaluated probably a half-dozen guys, but Michael was the one who stood out to me because of his speed and range. He then became a sixth-round pick of the Browns, and I watched him evolve into an impactful receiver throughout his career in Cleveland and Baltimore.
"Today, our hearts are saddened by the awful news involving Michael. He was a vibrant person who became one of the first Ravens heroes and a popular player among Baltimore fans. Well known for his big smile and welcoming nature, it was easy to feel a special connection with Michael.
"Michael was also a community leader who inspired many people, not only during his time in the NFL, but afterwards when he became the mayor of his hometown in Louisiana. As we remember Michael fondly, we extend our condolences to everyone who knew him and those families affected by this tragedy."
Jackson served as the mayor of Tangipahoa from 2009 to 2013 after retiring from the NFL.
In eight NFL seasons, Jackson finished with 353 receptions for 5,393 yards and 46 touchdowns. Injuries cut his career short and forced him to retire at the age of 29.
"Michael Jackson was more than a great player, he was a great man. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest in peace," the Browns wrote on Twitter.