Former UTEP, NFL player Thomas Howard killed in car crash

EL PASO, Texas - KRON-TV is reporting that former NFL / UTEP player Thomas Howard and another person were killed while Howard was driving about 100 mph in a BMW and collided with the back of a semi-truck early Monday morning.

The report goes on to state that the BMW launched into the median and onto the other side of the highway, to which the BMW then ran into into a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which collided with a Honda CR-V.

Robert Rodriguez, an assistant coach at UTEP and former teammate of Howard's, tweeted, "My heart is broken. No words can describe what we've lost today. Wish yall knew how much he loved UTEP and what a GREAT Person he was."

Rodriguez also changed his Twitter avatar to a picture of Howard.

Howard started his Miner career in 2002 as a 190-pound walk-on defensive back before bulking up to 240 pounds and moving to linebacker.

He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft - UTEP's highest selection in 37 years.

Howard signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2011, starting 15 games for the Bengals. He was injured in Sept. 2012.

Howard signed with the Atlanta Falcons this October and was active for two games since October 22. He was released on Nov. 12.

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