ATLANTA -- The family of Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson released a statement Wednesday thanking fans and the city of Indianapolis for treating their son "as one of their own."
"We were blessed to have had an amazing son who lived a life that extended respect, love and genuine concerns to everyone," the statement reads. "He showed compassion for his community and strived to be an example to kids who looked up to him."
Jackson was killed Sunday morning when a suspected drunk driver struck him and another man, 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe, as they stood outside a vehicle at the side of I-70.
Police believe Monroe had stopped to help Jackson who had become ill.
"We thank the City of Indianapolis for embracing Edwin and treating him as one of their own," the family's statement read. "We also thank Mr. Irsay and the entire Colts organization for allowing Edwin to fulfill his dream of playing the game that he worked so hard for and loved immensely."
They also thanked the Westlake High School and Georgia Southern Communities who supported their son.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking those wishing to honor Jackson to contribute to the Edwin Jackson 53 Foundation at www.EdwinJackson53.com.
Jackson's visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Big Bethel AME in Atlanta, Georgia.
His funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Monday.
You can read their full statement below.
“The parents and family of Edwin Jackson would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming expressions of love, condolences, concern, and care during this sudden and tragic loss.
We were blessed to have had an amazing son who lived a life that extended respect, love, and genuine concern to everyone. He showed compassion for his community and strived to be an example to kids who looked up to him.
We have lost a son, a brother, a nephew, and an uncle. The Indianapolis Colts and the National Football League have lost a young and rising star – one who truly loved the game of football, and played it with a passion.
We thank the City of Indianapolis for embracing Edwin and treating him as one of their own. We also thank Mr. Irsay and the entire Colts organization for allowing Edwin to fulfill his dream of playing the game that he worked so hard for and loved immensely. We are also grateful for the Georgia Southern University and Westlake High School communities, who supported Edwin along his journey to success.
While we mourn the loss of an amazing young man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that his life serves as an example to young people around the world that, with a plan and hard work, dreams can come true.
As we grieve our loss, we are aware that the family of Mr. Jeffrey Monroe also grieves the loss of their loved one. We extend our deepest condolences and prayers to them during this time.
In this darkest moment, we choose to remember Edwin for the wonderful things he accomplished in his short time on earth, including the Edwin Jackson 53 Foundation that he started to empower athletes and youth.
For those seeking to honor Edwin, we ask that in lieu of flowers and cards you help to keep his legacy alive by contributing to his foundation. To learn more visit www.EdwinJackson53.com.”
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