Friends, teammates to hold candlelight remembrance for Cedric Benson, Aamna Najam

Local Sports

AUSTIN (KXAN) โ€” Friends and former teammates will hold a candlelight gathering in remembrance of Cedric Benson and Dr. Aamna Najam Thursday night in Austin.

The former Longhorn running back and Najam died last weekend in a motorcycle wreck in west Austin.

The gathering will be held at the University Baptist Church at 2130 Guadalupe Street near the University of Texas campus at 7:32 p.m Thursday.

Will Matthews, a fullback at Texas with Benson, is organizing the event saying in a tweet that it is “open to all who would like to celebrate & remember” Benson.

The Cook-Walden Funeral Home on North Lamar Boulevard will hold a public visitation for Benson from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, according to his online obituary.

Funeral services will follow on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at the St. James Missionary Baptist Church on East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Benson will be buried in a private ceremony at the Texas State Cemetery.

The cemetery is reserved for politicians, public servants, veterans and other Texas legends. Benson will join UT icon Darrell Royal, who is also buried there. All of his pallbearers, according to the obituary, are former Longhorn teammates, including Matthews.

Police say Benson was speeding westbound in the left lane of Farm-to-Market 2222 around 10:20 p.m Saturday.

โ€œAfter checking for oncoming traffic, the van attempted to turn left on to FM 2222 when it was struck by the oncoming motorcycle,โ€ police wrote in a press release Monday.

After the wreck, a passenger from the van and a bystander tried to help Benson and Najam but they were both pronounced dead at the scene. The van driver remained at the scene and cooperated with police.

Najam was a University of Texas graduate who earned her Ph.D. in Audiology from the Moody College of Communication in Spring 2019.

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