Former Texas Tech, Steelers defensive liineman Rivera dies at 57

Former Texas Tech football star and Pittsburgh Steelers 1983 first-round draft pick Gabriel Rivera died Monday night, the university confirmed Tuesday.He was 57.”Gabriel went home to the Lord at 9:25 (p.m.),” his wife, Nancy Rivera, told KENS-TV in San Antonio in a text message.Rivera had been hospitalized in critical condition with a perforated colon, the television station reported.A San Antonio native, Rivera was one of the nation’s top defensive linemen in the early 1980s while playing for Texas Tech. He was an All-American and Southwest Conference defensive player of the year in 1982. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected him with the No. 21 overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft.During his rookie season, however, Rivera was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed. He was legally intoxicated and veered into oncoming traffic and collided with a car. Rivera, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, was thrown through a window of his car.

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