Former Raiders and Bengals linebacker Thomas Howard died early this morning, after a high-speed crash on an Oakland interstate which claimed another life as well.

Howard, who was just released by the Falcons last week, was 30 years old.

Witnesses said the driver of a gray BMW 750Li sedan, identified as Howard, BMW was driving north on the highway at more than 100 mph when he lost control and collided with the rear of a semi-truck in the left lane, according to the CHP.

The BMW launched into the air and crossed the center median onto southbound Highway 880. The BMW then struck a Chevrolet Monte Carlo and crashed into a gray Honda CR-V, Hill said.

Officers found the BMW overturned in the southbound right lane and the Honda CR-V blocking the two southbound left lanes, Hill said.

The semi-truck was found in the northbound right lane north of the crash site, according to the CHP.

The CHP and Oakland Fire Department personnel attempted to aid the drivers of the BMW and the Honda, but the extent of damage to the vehicles prevented responders from reaching the individuals, who both died at the scene, Hill said.

The driver of the Chevrolet sedan was transported to Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center after complaining of pain, he said.

The driver of the Honda was identified as a 55-year-old Hayward man, Hill said.

Howard was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas where he attended Lubbock Estacado High School. The 30-year-old linebacker went from a walk-on to a scholarship starter at the University of Texas of El Paso. He finished his UTEP career with 296 tackles before being drafted by the Raiders in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft.

“Everyone’s path to greatness is different. My journey to the NFL was one that I will never forget. If I can make an obstacle a building block for the next generation I will,” Thomas Howard wrote on his personal website.

In the 2011 off-season Howard signed a 2-yer deal with the Cincinatti Bengals.

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