Jeff Gladney died alongside girlfriend Andrea Mercedes Palacios

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.

Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney runs on the field during the second half of a game against the Jaguars, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, in Minneapolis.
Jeff Gladney was a first-round pick by the Vikings in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Andrea Mercedes Palacios
Andrea Mercedes Palacios, the girlfriend of Jeff Gladney, also was killed in Monday’s car crash.

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.”


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