BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — Tragedy for a Ravens’ star player. Wide receiver Torrey Smith loses his brother in a motorcycle accident.
Adam May reports.
Tailgating outside M&T Bank Stadium, a mix of the usual celebrations combined with condolences for Smith.
Around midnight Sunday, his 19-year-old brother Tevin Chris Jones died after he crashed his motorcycle into a utility pole in Westmoreland County, Va. He was riding his motorcycle on Route 672 when he ran off the right side of the roadway and struck a utility pole, according to Virginia State Police. Officials say that it was a single-vehicle crash.
Jones was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He was wearing a helmet, and alcohol was not a factor. The accident is under investigation.
“It really upsets me a lot,” one Ravens fan said.
“That’s terrible news,” said another.
“We send prayers and thoughts to his family,” a Ravens fan said of Jones’ death.
“Hopefully, he has a good game tonight and gets one in the end zone for his brother,” a fan wished for Smith.
Smith is a favorite among fans. His charity helps children affected by domestic violence.
He said in January 2012: “Our fans are the best. I’ve been around and seen a lot of different teams, and no one shows love like Ravens fans do.”
Smith mentioned his brother’s death in a Tweet Sunday morning. He wrote, “I can’t believe my little brother is gone. Be thankful for your loved ones and tell them you love them. This is the hardest thing ever.”
He later Tweeted a picture of himself and 19-year-old Jones and wrote: “I can’t say a bad thing about him. Proud to have him as a brother. R.I.P. Tevin.”
Smith was notified at the team hotel in Baltimore shortly after 1 a.m. and immediately left to be with his family.
He returned to the Ravens late Sunday afternoon, participated in warm-up drills and then played against the New England Patriots.
In a statement, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, “”This is devastatingly sad, sad news. Torrey and his family are a close, special family, and our hearts and thoughts reach out to all of them. Our hearts ache today. We pray for Tevin, his mother, Torrey and the rest of the family. God bless Tevin.”
Before the game, a moment of silence was observed for Jones, whose picture was placed on the replay screens at the stadium. The Ravens also asked the fans to observe a moment of silence for former NFL Films president Steve Sabol.
Smith is the oldest of seven children of Monica Chante Jenkins. Smith grew up in Virginia before attending the University of Maryland.
He was Baltimore second-round pick in the 2011 draft. In his rookie season, he had 50 catches for 841 yards and seven touchdowns.
Smith rejoined the Ravens on Sunday night, less than 24 hours after his brother’s death. He also thanked fans on Twitter for all the calls and prayers.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)