Mike Dukes dies at 72; played for pair of AFL teams, 49ers

BEAUMONT, Texas -- Mike Dukes, who played linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers and two AFL teams from 1959 to 1965, was killed in a traffic accident earlier this week. He was 72.

The longtime Beaumont resident was killed when an eastbound pickup crossed the median on Interstate 10 on Monday afternoon, striking his truck head-on, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The trooper's report said the driver of the other vehicle was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Dukes was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dukes grew up in Kentucky and Georgia, and went on to play football for Clemson.

He began his professional football career with the San Francisco 49ers in 1959, then moved to the American Football League's Houston Oilers from 1960 to 1963 and the AFL's Boston Patriots in 1964-65.

He moved to the Beaumont area in the early 1980s and became a businessman.