- By D. Orlando Ledbetter The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson, a former standout football player and wrestler at Westlake High and Georgia Southern, was killed by a suspected drunk driver early Sunday morning. The accident occurred on I-70 in Indianapolis.
Jackson, 26, was an inside linebacker and spent all of this season on injured reserve.
The Colts issued a statement on Jackson’s death. It read: “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.”
Jackson joined the Colts late in the 2015 season but did not appear in a game. In 2016, he played in all 16 games, including eight starts. He was the third-leading tackler on the team with 66 tackles. He signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2015 as an undrafted free agent but did not appear in a game before joining the Colts.
According to the police report, Jackson was killed as the passenger of a ride-share driver when he became ill. The dirver, identified as 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe, pulled over to assist Jackson. With both out of the vehicle, a 2018 Lincoln, they were struck by a Ford 150 that drove onto the emergency shoulder at approximately 4 a.m. The driver of the pick-up truck was identified as 37-year-old Alex Cabrera Gonsales of Indianapolis. He fled the scene on foot but was apprehended shortly after on an exit ramp.
Jackson and Monroe were pronounced dead at the scene by the Marion County Coroner's Office.
The police report states that Cabrera Gonsales was suspected of being intoxicated and was driving without a license.
Jackson was a walk-on at Georgia Southern after not being recruited out of high school. He rose up the depth chart and was eventually the team’s leading tackler as a senior. He was on the Georgia Southern team that defeated Florida in 2013.
Jackson was a Class 5A wrestling state championship finalist at 189 pounds.
Jackson, the sixth of 11 children, remained close to Westlake High. His younger brother Steve was on the 2016 football team and the elder Jackson gave an inspiring speech at the team’s football banquet.