Austin Police identified the second victim in a fatal motorcycle accident that sent shock waves across Austin, the University of Texas and the NFL over the weekend.
On Aug. 17, ex-Longhorn soccer star and retreating NFL Cedric Benson was riding a BMW motorcycle with a passenger when they reportedly bumped into a van at the intersection of Mount Bonnell Road and FM 2222 in West Austin.
On August 19, APD identified the passenger as Aamna Najam, 27. Social media reports show that Najam was a PhD student at UT, although this has not yet been confirmed.
Police say Benson was “traveling west at high speed in the left lane of FM 2222” when the motorcycle hit a van that was passing into oncoming traffic. The accident resulted in a fiery crash, and according to the APD, both a passenger in the van and bystanders tried to help the victims.
Both Benson and Najam were later pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the delivery truck refused treatment and is working with investigators.
News of Benson’s death spread quickly on Sunday, and when the news outlets covered the crash, everyone from former UT coach Mack Brown to his colleagues in the NFL used social media to mourn his death.
“Distressed by reports of Cedric Benson’s death,” Brown wrote on Twitter. “We have trained a lot of tough players, but none was tougher than Cedric. He was a true spirit. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family on this sad day.”
“Ced and I became quick friends during his brief stint in Green Bay, and spent many lunch breaks at the cafeteria talking about life and football,” Green Bay Packers legendary quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on Instagram. “Ced was very smart and thoughtful, and I always walked away from our conversations as if I had learned something or wanted to do some research so that I could keep up in our conversations with him.”
In honor of Benson, the Longhorn Network will broadcast its most notable games with UT all day on August 19th.