Former Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson dead at 36 after motorcycle crash in Austin

Cedric Benson #32 of the Green Bay Packers looks on against the Cincinnati Bengals during a preseason NFL game at Paul Brown Stadium on August 23, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.Cedric Benson #32 of the Green Bay Packers looks on against the Cincinnati Bengals during a preseason NFL game at Paul Brown Stadium on August 23, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Former NFL football star Cedric Benson died late Saturday night at age 36 after a motorcycle crash involving a minivan that left another person dead and two injured, Yahoo! Sports reports.

Benson played in the NFL between 2005 and 2012, for the Chicago Bears, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Green Bay Packers. He also played college football for the University of Texas at Austin. 

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Benson's brother confirmed the news on Facebook early Sunday morning, as reported in screenshots obtained by NFL reporter Dov Kleiman on Twitter.

Two days prior to his death, Benson appeared in court where he pleaded guilty to misdeameanor drunk driving charges dating back to February 2017. The running back had a fraught legal history, though there are no reports yet on whether either driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

Law enforcement reported that the crash occurred at 10:28 PM in Austin, when the motorcycle hit a white minivan pulling out into the roadway. The vehicle was reported to be on fire at the time paramedics arrived onto the scene.

Benson played eight years in the NFL, with his most successful period being with the Cincinnati Bengals, when he surpassed 1,000 yards three times between 2009 and 2011. He was selected fourth overall by the Chicago Bears in the 2005 draft, and was a football star at UT, where he was Big Twelve Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2001. 

Benson also received the 2004 Doak Walker Award, given to the top running back in the nation. 

His coach at UT posted a tribute to Instagram following news of his death.

 

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