Former NFL wide receiver Mike Williams died Tuesday from injuries sustained in a construction accident, Fox News reported. The 36-year-old was hit in the head by a falling steel beam earlier this month.
Initial reports the day after the incident, which occurred at the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills player’s construction job, said Williams had died. However, that changed to news that he was "fighting for his life" just two days later.
Yet another report said Williams was still alive after being taken off of life support but that his condition was unchanged. Williams’ father said on his son’s GoFundMe that it was a “major accident” and that the beam “fell on his head, causing a massive head injury.”
Those injuries included "swelling on his brain and swelling on his spinal cord that was ruptured," his father added. The man's mother, Mary Rosenthal, said it was in line with her son's wishes to not stay alive with the use of machines, according to WIVB-TV.
"He said, if this ever happens to me, to pull my plug because I don’t want to live like that," Rosenthal told the network. "Those are his wishes. When he was a football player, he had already signed the papers."
Williams was completing electrical work at a job site when someone dropped the beam on his head. He initially complained of a headache but later fell into a coma.
Representatives from Williams' professional football career commented on the player's untimely death. "He will be missed," Hadley Engelhard, his former agent, shared with the NFL Network.
"He fought hard his whole life. Prayers to his family," he added.
The Buccaneers team, where Williams spent four seasons, also released a statement about the death of their former wide receiver. "We are saddened to hear of the untimely death of Mike Williams, which has left our organization, his former teammates, and fans with heavy hearts," the team said.
"We send our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones as they mourn this tragedy." Williams was with the team until 2013, when he was given $40 million for a contract extension.
After just six games that season, Williams was traded to the Bills and played for one season before ending his career. During his time with the NFL, Williams scored 26 touchdowns and received 223 passes totaling 3,089 yards.
Williams was a fourth-round NFL draft pick coming out of Syracuse University in 2010. He picked up 964 receiving yards in his rookie year and completed 65 receptions, nearly tying the team's record that year.
The wide receiver went on to lead the team in touchdowns with 11 that year. His impressive start earned Williams the second-place spot behind St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
This is a tragic accident that took the life of a man still in his prime. Williams leaves behind his children, Mike Jr., 10, and daughter, Mya, 8.