Football

Cedric Benson’s passenger in motorcycle wreck identified

Posted August 19th, 2019

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Austin Police have identified 27-year-old Aamna Najam as the woman who was the passenger on former University of Texas football star Cedric Benson’s motorcycle when the two were killed Saturday in a crash in West Austin.

Benson and Najam were both pronounced dead at the scene, police said Monday in their first public comments about the incident. Najam, according to her Linkedin profile, was a doctoral student in audiology at the University of Texas and had graduated last spring.

“We are aware of the extremely sad news about the death of Aamna Najam, who earned her Ph.D. in Audiology this past spring from the Moody College of Communication,” the university said in a statement. “Aamna’s loss is devastating to our community and we express our deepest sympathies to her family and friends. Out of respect to her family, we are unable to share any other details. We are committed to helping students mourning her death through university counseling services and support programs.”

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The preliminary investigation showed the BMW motorcycle driven by Benson was traveling at a high rate of speed westbound in the left lane of RM 2222, police said. A white, 2014 Dodge van was stopped at the T-intersection of Mount Bonnell Road and RM 2222. After checking for oncoming traffic, the van attempted to turn left onto RM 2222 when it was struck by the  motorcycle, according to police.

The driver of the van was evaluated by EMS on scene and refused to be taken to a hospital, police said. A passenger in the van and a bystander attempted to render aid to Benson and Najam.

The van driver remained on scene and is cooperating with the ongoing investigation, police said.

It appears Najam had known Benson for at least a year. Najam, in a Facebook post on Aug. 8, 2018, encouraged her friends to buy a t-shirt to support Benson’s charity, NUFCED.

In additional to her studies, Najam was a fitness enthusiast who served as an ambassador for the women’s active clothing line, Just Strong.

“We are sad to hear that Aamna passed away,” Just Strong CEO Mark Robinson said in a statement. “Aamna has been a valued ambassador for us for over a year. We (our community) express our deepest condolences. We are sending our love and support to her family and friends.”
Benson, 36, was a stalwart running back for Mack Brown’s Longhorns, exceeding 1,000 rushing yards in each of his four seasons from 2001 to 2004. As a senior, Benson won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top college running back. He played eight seasons in the NFL and last played in 2012.

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