ATLANTA - The Indianapolis Colts player killed by a suspected drunk driver was laid to rest Monday morning in Atlanta.
Between tears and cheers, loved ones, friends, teammates and fans fondly remembered Indianapolis Colts Linebacker Edwin Joseph Brown Jackson. Nearly 1,500 gathered at Big Bethel AME, his childhood home church, to honor Jackson's life on and off the football field.
"It never took Edwin too long to reach his target and it only took him 26 years to live a great life. He made us all happy and he made us all proud," said Edwin's older brother Wesley.
Edwin, who was a standout athlete at Westlake High School in southwest Atlanta, became a walk-on player at Georgia Southern and eventually worked his way from the Colts practice squad to a starting position as a linebacker in 2016.
"Just his drive, his passion, his determination. He was not gonna be denied. He loved that team and he loved the game. But more than anything, he loved his family and his community. He was just a selfless guy," said former Colts Coach Chuck Pagano.
"The impact he made with our players, our coaches, our fans, our scouts--it will always live on. He's not gone. He will always be a Colt, Colts General Manager Chris Ballard told the crowd of mourners. Jackson, and his Uber driver were killed by a drunk driver February 4 on an interstate in Indiana.
Alaya Boykin, a childhood friend who grew up with Jackson at Big Bethel AME, remembered how passionate the 26-year-old was about being an acolyte during Sunday service.
"It was an important ministry to him and he always took pride in the fact that his candle light never went out. He carried it with the same passion and enthusiasm that carried him through life," said Boykin.
Police said that Jackson and his Uber driver were standing on the side of Interstate 70 when they were struck and killed by Manuel Orrego-Savala.