Ex-Illini Brown dies in crash, Brent charged

It's a very sad day for the Illinois program as two former players now competing for the Dallas Cowboys were involved in a deadly one-car accident early Saturday in Irving, Texas.

Former Illini player Jerry Brown was killed in the crash, and former Illini defensive lineman Josh Brent, who drove the car, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter. They played together at Illinois.

From ESPNDallas.com:

Irving police spokesman John Argumaniz said the accident happened about 2:20 a.m. Saturday in the Dallas suburb. Brent was speeding when the vehicle hit a curb and flipped at least once, Argumaniz said.

Argumaniz says the 25-year-old Brown was found unresponsive at the scene and pronounced dead at a hospital. Brent, a three-year veteran, was booked in the Irving, Texas city jail at 4:14 a.m. Saturday morning.

Brown had been promoted from the Cowboys practice squad to the active roster on Oct. 10, while Brent had been starting for the Cowboys at defensive tackle.

Brent served jail time in 2009 after a drunken driving arrest. He had a suspended license at the time and failed to appear in court, eventually reaching a plea agreement that required two years probation and 60 days in jail. Brent entered the NFL supplemental draft in 2010 rather than play his senior season for the Illini.

Illinois coach Tim Beckman tweeted Saturday afternoon: "Sad news for the Illini #Family today. Jerry Brown, former Illini and current NFL player has passed away. Keep him in your prayers." Former Illini wide receiver Arrelious Benn and others expressed their condolences on Twitter.