Tuesday 8th February 2000
Professional American Football linebacker Derrick Thomas (33) of the Kansas City Chiefs broke his neck and one of his friends, Michael Tellis (49), died after Thomas lost control of his Chevrolet Suburban while speeding on a snow-and-ice-covered stretch of Interstate 435. His car hit the median and then rolled several times. Both Thomas and Tellis were not wearing their seat belts and were thrown from the car. Another friend, Joe Hagebusch, who was wearing his seat belt, survived the crash with minor injuries. Thomas was paralyzed from the waste down by his neck injury. Thomas died on February 8th of cardio-respiratory arrest probably caused by a blood clot while attempting to recover from the accident at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida.