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The car crash in Dallas that claimed the life of Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney also killed his 26-year-old girlfriend, it was revealed Tuesday.
The family of Mercedes Palacios has confirmed that she was the woman who died along with Gladney, 25, after the Monday morning crash in Dallas.
Palacios shared a photo of her on Instagram of herself hugging Gladney during a recent vacation in Miami, with the NFL star’s distinctive Interstate 30 tattoo clearly visible on her left arm.
She and Gladney, who has a two-year-old son named Kingston from a previous relationship, were traveling in a white Mercedes SUV that struck another car from behind around 2:30 a.m. Monday morning in Dallas.
The Mercedes then crashed into a pillar, killing both Gladney and Palacios. A man and a woman in the car that collided were uninjured.
It is unclear if Gladney or Palacios were driving the Mercedes. Police believe speed may have been a factor in the crash, and no information has been released on whether the driver may have been under the influence.
A video shared online by grieving family members shows Palacios riding in a car with Gladney, who she is driving, though it is unclear if it was filmed the night of her death.
“Two great souls have just gone,” Palacios’ brother, John Paul Figueroa, told the Dallas NBC affiliate. “She was just a loving, selfless person.”
Palacios worked for a software and transportation company, Ride4Health, along with his brother John Paul, and the company paid tribute to him on its Facebook page.
His statement read: ‘It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we share with you the loss of one of our extended Ride4Health employees.
‘Early yesterday morning, Ride4Health ▪︎, the Dallas, Texas executive service location, lost a valued employee, a beloved family member, and a beautiful friend.
‘Mercedes Palacios was tragically killed in a car accident near Dallas. She was 26 years old. She worked at Ride4Health under her brother John Paul.
Please join us in praying for Mercedes and John Paul during this extremely difficult time. And keep his family, friends, and our extended Ride4Health family in your continued thoughts and prayers. We say it all the time, Ride4Health is a family. We are here to support John Paul and others. ❤
“We personally send our love to John Paul and his entire family.
‘Thank you all for your care and concern for him and prayers for peace and healing for him.
‘Rest in peace, Mercedes’
The revelation came after the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department released more information about Monday’s car crash.
Police say a white Mercedes SUV was speeding when it struck another car, leading to the crash around 2:30 a.m. of Monday. The SUV lost control and collided with a freeway dock beam, killing Gladney and Palacios.
Gladney’s agent and the Cardinals have confirmed his death.
“We are devastated to learn of the passing of Jeff Gladney,” read a statement from the Cardinals. “Our hearts go out to his family, his friends and all who are mourning this tremendous loss.”
Monday’s accident occurred on the Woodall Rodgers Freeway service road in Dallas.
Gladney excelled at TCU before being selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He appeared in 16 games as a rookie but was released in 2021 when he was accused of assaulting a woman.
He was later cleared of that charge and subsequently signed with the Cardinals.
“We are asking for prayers for the family and privacy at this very difficult time,” said Officer Brian Overstreet.
In his statement, the NFL described Gladney’s death as a “tragic loss.”
Gladney is survived by a one-year-old child from a previous relationship, according to posts on his social media accounts.
Mercedes Palacios Quick and Facts
- The Dallas car crash that claimed the life of Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney also killed his 26 year-old girlfriend Mercedes Palacios
- The family of Mercedes Palacios has confirmed she was the other person that died in Monday’s crash along the Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas
- Local sportswriter Matt Thornton identified Palacios as Gladney’s girlfriend
- Police haven’t revealed who was driving the car containing Palacios and Gladney
- Gladney’s white SUV was allegedly speeding when it clipped another vehicle, lost control and ran into a freeway pier beam at 2:30am on Monday