Andrea Mercedes Palacios, the girlfriend of Jeff Gladney, has been identified as the woman who died alongside the Arizona Cardinals defensive back in a car accident Monday morning.
Palacios has been identified by both her family and the Dallas County police.
“She was just a loving, selfless person,” Palacios’ brother, John Paul Figueroa, told NBC Dallas Fort-Worth. “Just outgoing. I know she loved Jeff because they were always together.”
Gladney and Palacios died early Monday morning after a two-car accident on the Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas.
Police said that a white vehicle — containing Gladney and Palacios — sped and clipped a car from behind. Subsequently, the white vehicle lost control and hit a freeway pier beam.
It is not clear which of the two was driving.
Passengers in the second car were not seriously injured.
Gladney, who played in college at TCU, was a first-round pick for the Minnesota Vikings in the 2020 NFL Draft. He was released by the team after being accused of “intentionally, knowingly and recklessly” applying pressure to an ex-girlfriend’s neck and throat.
He was found unanimously not guilty by a Texas court and signed with the Cardinals this offseason.
Sharonda Francois, Gladney’s cousin, told WFAA that the defensive back had recently purchased a house for his mother. She also said that Gladney has a son who just turned a year old in February.
“He really loved his son, a lot of young guys are really not into being parents — but he really loved him,” Francois said. “He hosted football camps, he took care of our kids at family gatherings. I mean money did not change him, he was still the same down to earth cousin. He was just so well-loved.”