Indianapolis Colts player Edwin Jackson was one of two people killed early Sunday after being struck by a suspected drunken driver along Interstate 70.
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.”
It is with a heavy heart that we share the loss of one of our own.
Edwin Jackson always brought a smile to our locker room and the community. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.February 4, 2018
Our hearts and prayers are with Edwin Jackson’s family. Terrific young man, respected and liked by all. Rest In Peace, Edwin.— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) February 4, 2018
Investigators believe that Monroe was a ride-sharing operator who pulled to the side of the road and got out of the car to assist Jackson, 26, who became ill.
"One of the people struck was thrown into the center lane of I-70," Sgt. John Perrine said 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 Mays then spotted the crash along the right side of the road and activated his emergency lights.
"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, was signed by the Colts in January 2016 after signing to the practice squad on Dec. 22, 2015. He was placed on injured reserve in September 2017.
Jackson was a high school football star and state-championship-finalist wrestler in Atlanta. He attended Georgia Southern University and joined the football team as a walk on, and he previously played for the Arizona Cardinals.