Dennis Byrd, a former Jets defensive lineman who made an inspiring recovery from paralysis after a career-ending neck injury in 1992, died on Saturday in a two-vehicle crash near Claremore, Okla., officials said. Byrd was 50.
A 17-year-old boy driving a sport utility vehicle north on Oklahoma Highway 88 veered into the oncoming lane about 11:15 a.m., striking an S.U.V. driven by Byrd, who was pronounced dead at the scene, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. The boy was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Okla., where officials said he was in stable condition. A 12-year-old boy was also injured in the crash.
Against the Chiefs, on Nov. 29, 1992, Byrd and a teammate, Scott Mersereau, collided while chasing Kansas City quarterback Dave Krieg. Byrd broke a bone in his spine and could not move his lower body.
“An eerie silence gripped the stadium as Jets doctors and trainers attended to Byrd for seven minutes,” according to a New York Times article…