All of the Pittsburgh Steelers were impacted by the sudden and tragic death of quarterback Dwayne Haskins this spring when Haskins was killed attempting to cross an interstate highway on foot in April, but perhaps the Steelers player most open about his grief has been wide receiver Chase Claypool.
Claypool was with Haskins and other Steelers players training in Florida to prepare for OTAs at the time of the young quarterback’s death, and he posted an emotional video to social media just after Haskins’ death.
-A moment of vulnerability-
The moment I realized I had lost a brother.
We are placed on this undesirable pedestal and become treated as if we are anything but human, but It’s okay to not be okay. Allow me to be the example. Love you, 3 🤍🕊 https://t.co/3ZGehDX49H pic.twitter.com/cIUHCiPM21
— Chase Claypool (@ChaseClaypool) April 9, 2022
“I spent your final moments with you and I can’t help but think about how selfless you were in those moments,” Claypool wrote. “All you cared about was making sure that everyone around you was okay and I can’t thank you enough for that. You are what I strive to be.”
Appearing on the I am Athlete podcast this week, Claypool revealed that he was on his way to help Haskins on the morning of his death, only to be tragically minutes late.
“I feel like I failed him,” Claypool said. “I feel like I could have changed the outcome. I was close. I was a minute away from stopping it, essentially. You can’t really beat yourself up on that, but it’s tough when you know. Damn, if I could have been a minute quicker … I went back to grab him and he wasn’t there anymore. I missed him by a minute.”
Haskins joined the Steelers in January 2021, and was only a part of the team for a little over a year, but after his death, many players commented on how close many had become with the former Ohio State standout.
“I think about him every day,” Claypool said. “Obviously, the cliché, you never know how much someone
means to you until they’re gone, but being with him in his final moments and like seeing who he was as a person, just like in the purest form, that’s tough when you’re right there.”
Haskins and Claypool were in Florida near the home of new quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who organized the training session.
A medical examiner’s report released in May revealed that Haskins had alcohol and recreational drugs in his system when he was killed on the morning of April 9. According to investigators, Haskins was attempting to cross Interstate 595 near the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on foot when he was struck by a dump truck and another vehicle. A 911 call by his widow Kalabrya Haskins said that Haskins had run out of gas. The drivers of the vehicles cooperated with police and no charges have been filed, though the investigation has not been closed.