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Ex-NFL linebacker Howard dies in high-speed car crash

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Former Raiders player Thomas Howard celebrates after a play against the Eagles on Oct. 18, 2009, in Oakland, Calif. Howard died in a car crash Monday, Nov. 18, 2013

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By The Associated Press
Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, 8:09 p.m.

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Former NFL linebacker Thomas Howard died early Monday morning after a high-speed car crash on a freeway in Oakland.

The Alameda County Coroner's office said Howard, 30, was one of two men who died in the crash Monday. The driver of the other car, 64-year-old Zeng Long Liu, also died.

Howard was driving a speeding BMW when he hit a big rig, flipped over the center divider and went head-on into a Honda traveling on the other side about 1 a.m., said Officer Daniel Hill, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.

Witnesses said the car was traveling at speeds between 100 to 110 mph as the car overturned, crossed a median and ended up in the southbound lanes of the freeway, where it sideswiped another car before landing on top of the Honda, Hill said.

Hill said alcohol isn't being ruled out as a possible cause of the accident.

Howard played eight years in the NFL after being drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round out of UTEP in 2006.

He most recently was with Atlanta before getting released last week after playing two games this year.

Howard played his first five seasons with the Raiders and two seasons with Cincinnati.

He started 62 games in his first four seasons. His best season came in 2007 when he intercepted six passes and returned two of them for touchdowns.

Howard started 15 games in his first season with the Bengals.

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