Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Edwin Jackson (53) following practice during preseason training camp Friday, August 4, 2017. Jackson was killed Sunday in an accident on I-70.
(Photo: Matt Kryger/IndyStar)
According to the Indiana State Police, the crash happened shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday along the westbound lanes of I-70, just west of Holt Road.
Police said Jackson and 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe of Avon were standing near a stopped vehicle when a black Ford F-150 pickup truck drove onto the emergency shoulder and struck them both.
Shortly after news of his death, the Indianapolis Colts showed their love for the 26-year-old player known to his teammates as "Pound Cake" with the following statement:
“We were heartbroken to hear the news of Edwin Jackson’s passing. Edwin was loved by all in the Colts organization. We admired his outgoing personality, competitive spirit and hard-working mentality. He was well-respected among all with whom he crossed paths, and he will be greatly missed in our locker room and throughout our entire organization. We also understand that another person lost his life in the accident, only adding to our sorrow on this day. We are shocked and saddened by this tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of both men during this difficult time.”
Monroe was an Uber driver, the company confirmed Sunday evening. Investigators believe he pulled to the side of the road and got out of the car to assist Jackson, 26, who became ill.
“Like so many who are mourning, we are heartbroken by this news," Uber said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, the Colts, and the entire Indianapolis community.”
One of the two men was thrown into the center lane of I-70 during the crash, said Sgt. John Perrine in a statement.
"Shortly after the crash, and before any 911 calls were received, Trooper Ty Mays was driving through the area and noticed a vehicle in front of him make an evasive maneuver to the left," Perrine said.
|Colts player Edwin Jackson, 26, was one of two men killed early Sunday in a crash caused by a suspected drunken driver (Photo: Indiana State Police)|
"As he slowed to stop for the crash he struck the body of the victim in the center lane," Perrine said in a statement. State police did not say which victim was struck.
The driver of the pickup truck, identified as 37-year-old Alex Cabrera Gonsales of Indianapolis, tried to flee the scene on foot.
He was apprehended shortly after on the ramp to Holt Road by Mays, police said.
"It is believed Gonsales was intoxicated and was driving without a license," Perrine said in a statement. "He was transported to the Marion County Jail, the result of the test for intoxication is pending."
Jackson, an inside linebacker originally from Atlanta, joined the Colts late in the 2015 season but did not appear in any games until 2016. That season, he played in all 16 games, starting eight. He was the team’s third-leading tackler that season, with 66 total stops. Jackson missed all of the 2017 after suffering an injury in the preseason that landed him on the injured reserve list. He had been rehabilitating during the offseason in Indianapolis in hopes of rebounding for the 2018 season.
The hard-hitting Jackson had a long path to professional football. His pro career came after he was a walk-on player at Georgia Southern, the result of his receiving no scholarship offers to play college football. He made consistent improvements during his college career and became the team’s leading tackler as a senior. He also was part of one of the program’s biggest wins, against Florida, in 2013.
Jackson was a high school football star and state-championship-finalist wrestler in Atlanta. He previously played for the Arizona Cardinals.