Former NFL quarterback Tarvaris Jackson killed in ‘horrifying’ crash

Tarvaris Jackson, an NFL quarterback who won a Super Bowl as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, died from injuries sustained in a car crash in his native Alabama. He was 36.

Credit: Ted S. Warren

Credit: Ted S. Warren

Tarvaris Jackson, an NFL quarterback who won a Super Bowl as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, died from injuries sustained in a car crash in his native Alabama. He was 36.

Former NFL quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was killed in a car crash in Alabama on Sunday night. He was about a week shy of his 37th birthday.

Jackson worked as the quarterbacks coach at Tennessee State University, according to a report by the NFL Network.

TMZ reported that Jackson's red 2012 Chevrolet Camaro hit a tree and overturned.

The site obtained photos from the scene, calling the mangled wreckage “horrifying.” Jackson’s car was the only vehicle involved in the accident.

According to USA Today, Jackson was driving on a road a few miles south of Montgomery, Alabama, at about 8:50 p.m. Sunday when his car left the road, hit a tree and flipped, said Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Trooper Michael Carswell. Jackson was transported to a local hospital and later pronounced dead.

The Minnesota Vikings issued a statement Monday, saying Jackson will be missed.

“The entire Vikings family is saddened by the news of Tarvaris Jackson being taken from us too soon. One of Tarvaris’ greatest attributes was his positive outlook and approach. He genuinely cared about others, was a good friend and will be missed by family, teammates and Vikings fans everywhere. We send our deepest condolences to his family.”

Jackson appeared in 59 career games in 10 seasons in the NFL.

He was born April 21, 1983, and raised in Montgomery.

He played two lackluster seasons at the University of Arkansas before transferring in 2003 to Alabama State University, in his hometown of Montgomery, where he found immediate success. In his junior season, he led the team to the 2004 Southwest Athletic Conference title and won MVP honors in the game.

Jackson was selected by the Vikings with the last pick in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He was named the starting quarterback toward the end of his rookie season but never quite lived up to expectations.

In many of his 36 games with the Vikings from 2006 to 2010, he was relegated to backup roles and rotations. He served as Brett Favre’s backup in 2009 and 2010 after the Packers legend joined the team.

In 2011, Jackson left Minnesota and reinvented himself with the Seattle Seahawks, where he replaced quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. That year was the best season of his career. He started 15 games and ended the season with more than 3,000 yards passing and 14 touchdowns.

As fate would have it, though, quarterback Russell Wilson was drafted the following season. Jackson was traded to the Bills, but he didn’t play the entire 2012 season.

In 2013, Jackson was released by the Bills before the season started, and the Seahawks brought him back into the fold to serve as Wilson’s backup. The team ultimately won two NFC championships and Super Bowl XLVIII, where Jackson came in for Wilson late in the fourth quarter to ice the 43-8 victory against the Broncos.

Jackson was also with the team for the 2014 Super Bowl, a 28-24 loss to the Patriots.

Jackson was never picked up again after the 2015 season and he retired.

In 2018, he was hired as a graduate assistant coach at Alabama State and was hired at Tennessee State University in 2019.

Jackson is survived by his wife, Lakitta, and three children.

Tributes from former coaches and teammates to the late quarterback poured in on social media.