Prince George's County

‘Heartbroken': Governor, coaches, loved ones react to loss of 3 Wise High School football stars in tragic crash

The heartbreaking news of their deaths rocked the victims' families, the Prince George's County community, the college football world and the NFL

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Early Saturday morning, a tragic crash in Upper Marlboro, Maryland took the lives of three teammates and graduates at Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr. High School.

Anthony "A.J." Lytton, Isaiah Hazel and Khyree Jackson were together in a maroon Dodge Charger that went off the road during a three-car crash early Saturday morning.

Jackson was a rookie cornerback for the Minnesota Vikings. The three had won a state championship together at Wise.

The trio were family men, and each was an incredible athlete. Before their college and NFL teams sent them across the country, they'd lined up together for Wise High School's football team, going on to win a state championship together.

The heartbreaking news of their deaths rocked the victims' families, the Prince George's County community, the college football world and the NFL.

"He always had high aspirations," Jackson's grandfather, Anthony Jackson, told News4.

Khyree Jackson's entire family was proud of his achievements.

"He was doing the best that he could possibly do," Anthony Jackson said. "In life and with the family."

"We're going to try and get through this as best as we possibly can," said Anthony Jackson, his voice breaking as he teared up.

The three players were still friends, and still hanging out together when they could, according to their former football coach and teacher from Wise, Dalawn Parrish.

"Isaiah had an infectious, infectious attitude," Parrish said. "He was extraordinary. Everybody loved being around him."

"A.J., phenomenal athlete, he could do anything he wanted. Khyree, [his] belief in himself was incredible."

Prince George's County Schools released a statement Saturday evening.

"PGCPS mourns the loss of Dr. Henry A. Wise High School alumni Khyree Jackson (Class of 2017), Anthony Lytton, Jr. (AJ) (Class of 2018) and Isaiah Hazel (Class of 2019)," the statement reads. "Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with their families during this difficult time."

Jackson was a rookie cornerback who was just drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round of this year's NFL Draft.

Kevin O'Connell, head coach for the Vikings, released a statement in the aftermath of the fatal crash.

"I am absolutely crushed by this news," the statement reads. "Khyree brought a contagious energy to our facility and our team. His confidence and engaging personality immediately drew his teammates to him."

Jackson was a starting cornerback at the University of Oregon, and played at the University of Alabama and Fort Scott Community College.

Lytton was a cornerback from Upper Marlboro who played for Penn State and Florida State.

Penn State's football team honored Lytton, saying, "The Penn State football family mourns the loss of former Lion A.J. Lytton. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, high school and all involved."

Hazel, a defensive back, played four years with the University of Maryland before finishing up his college football career with UNC Charlotte. He was still chasing his dreams of being in the NFL.

UMD's football team remembered Hazel, saying in part "The Maryland football family mourns the passing of former Terp Isaiah Hazel. Our thoughts and prayers are with Isaiah's family, loved ones and everybody involved in last night's traffic accident..."

Maryland's coach Michael Locksley said his heart is broken, and that Hazel was one of his first recruits after taking over the Terrapins.

In a statement posted to Threads, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore said he mourns all three souls.

"Maryland is heartbroken over the loss of Khyree Jackson this morning," the statement reads. "A graduate of Wise High School and an NFL draft pick, Khyree was a true talent who touched so many lives. We mourn him and the two other souls lost in this crash. The First Lady and I are keeping their families in our hearts."

County Executive and current Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Angela Alsobrooks said she was "devastated" by the accident.

"We are devastated to learn of the tragic passing of Khyree Jackson, Isaiah Hazel, and Anthony Lytton Jr., all proud alumni of Wise High School," Alsobrooks's statement reads. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to their family, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time."

Tributes continue to pour in by the hour, as the different teams impacted by each of the three men process the tragedy.

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