Saturday, April 2, 2011
Posted: 3:43 p.m.
By Reuben Frank
The father of Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant was killed Thursday when his Chevrolet Blazer crashed in Pemberton Township in South Jersey.
Police told The Burlington County Times newspaper of Willingboro that Jerry Avant, 51, of Mount Holly was killed when he lost control of his SUV on a wet roadway and struck several trees. Avant was pronounced dead at nearby Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Pemberton, police said.
"The Philadelphia Eagles are deeply saddened to learn of Jerry Avant's passing," the team said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Jason, Stacy and the entire Avant family."
A passenger in the car, identified as 42-year-old Urie Ridgeway of Pemberton, was taken to Cooper Hospital in Camden with what police said were non-life-threatening injuries.
The accident occurred near the intersection of Four Mile Road and Greenwood Bridge in the townships New Lisbon neighborhood.
Jason Avant, the Eagles fourth-round draft pick out of Michigan in 2006, is one of the Eagles most popular players.
Avant has 154 receptions for 1,872 yards and nine touchdowns in 70 games with the Eagles.
Avant, 26, was voted by his teammates as the teams Ed Block Courage Award winner this past season after revealing in a story on CSNPhilly.com that as a child in Chicago he spent time as a drug dealer and gang member before turning his life around.
Numerous condolences were posted on an unofficial Jason Avant Facebook page.
I'm sorry to here about your Dad, read one. Jerry was a sweet heart, I loved his smile. It was a pleasure to have known him, he was so proud of you, always grinning. He will be missed, you and your family are in my prayer's.
E-mail Reuben Frank at email@example.com