Former NFL linebacker Wayne Simmons, a first-round pick in 1993 who won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers, was killed in a single-car wreck Friday, police said.
Simmons, 32, was speeding and weaving through traffic when his car went off Interstate 70 about 2:45 a.m., witnesses told police.
The car rolled several times and landed in the ditch, with its engine catching fire, and witnesses tried to pull out Simmons, who was alone in the car, but they could not undo the seat belt.
Firefighters arrived, put out the fire and pulled Simmons out. He was taken to Independence Regional Health Center and later pronounced dead.
Simmons' identity was confirmed by police Sgt. John Passiglia. An autopsy was planned, the medical examiner's office said.
Simmons, a 1993 first-round pick out of Clemson who won a Super Bowl ring with the 1996 Green Bay Packers, was traded to Kansas City in 1997.
The Chiefs cut him the day after a 30-7 Monday night loss to Denver in 1998 in which Simmons and teammate Derrick Thomas were called for a total of five personal fouls on the Broncos' final touchdown drive.
Thomas, a close friend of Simmons, died in 2000 of complications after being injured in a traffic accident that left him partially paralyzed.
"It's such a shock,'' Chiefs defensive end Eric Hicks told KCTV-TV. "Wayne was so energetic and tough. ... He was a very intense guy and I think one of the best linebackers in the country.
"He had a good career. It's really sad.''
-- Associated Press