GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11:  General view of the Pat Tillman statue before the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

10 Tragic Deaths in Modern Sports History

Following the tragic death of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, his loss brought back memories of superb athletes who were taken from this world far too soon. We'll never forget the impact these ten remarkable athletes had on our lives.

10. Derrick Thomas

Derrick Thomas was the premier sack artist of his generation, racking up 126.5 career sacks and setting the NFL record for sacks in a game with seven. He could have been the greatest pass rusher ever if it wasn't for a tragic car crash in 2000. Paralyzed from the chest down from the accident, Thomas died of a pulmonary embolism while recovering in the hospital. He was posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame nine years later.

9. Thurman Munson

Munson was right in the middle of a long career when his life was cut short. Known for being an amateur pilot, Munson took flying lessons and eventually bought his own plane so he could fly home on his off-days to be with his family. On August 2nd, 1979, Munson's plane sank too low before increasing engine power, and as a result, the plane crashed into a tree and was set ablaze. Munson never made it out alive, officially dying of asphyxiation.

8. Sean Taylor

Taylor's career and life were tragically cut short on November 27th, 2007 when he returned home to a burglary in progress. Panicked, one of the intruders shot Taylor in the leg, and he was immediately rushed to the hospital. His heart stopped twice during emergency surgery, and his body would eventually give out. A rising star in the NFL, Taylor was consistently in the conversation for best safety in football, and would have been one of the best ever. 

7. Drazen Petrovic

One of the best players in Europe in the 1980s, Drazen Petrovic exploded onto the scene in 1991 with the New Jersey Nets. One of the best guards in the game at the time, Petrovic was entertaining offers from several NBA teams when his life was cut short on June 7th, 1993 when a truck cut off the car he was traveling in while visiting Bavaria.

6. Roberto Clemente

On December 31st, 1972 Clemente left from Puerto Rico to help with an earthquake relief effort in Nicaragua. His plane crashed near the coast of Puerto Rico and Clemente's body was never found in the wreck. Clemente was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.

5. Hank Gathers

Another college star lost to soon, Gathers was discovered to have an irregular heartbeat during the 1989-90 season. Prescribed beta blockers to treat the condition, Gathers decided not to take the them on game days as they made him feel sluggish, and it would be a game day against Portland in the WCC quarterfinals that would lead to his death. Gathers collapsed on the court after a dunk and attempted to get back up before he fell again. Attempts to revive him failed as he was rushed to the hospital, and Gathers was pronounced dead upon arrival.

4. Len Bias

Len Bias was one of the best college basketball stars of his generation, but never got the chance to let his talent shine at the next level. Bias was taken second overall out of the University of Maryland by the Boston Celtics at the 1986 NBA Draft. Two days after being drafted, Bias was found dead from a cocaine overdose in his dorm room, leaving the NBA world in complete shock.

3. Andres Escobar

Andrés Escobar was a fantastic defender during Colombia's golden generation of the late '80s and early '90s. However, his amazing career would be defined by his own goal against the USA during the 1994 World Cup. The loss meant the end of Colombia’s hopes for qualifying for the knockout round. Upon Colombia's early return from the tournament, Escobar was murdered outside a nightclub by two men who argued with him about his mistake. One of the murderers was a member of a Colombian cartel, which made many people believe that Escobar’s murder might have been intentional rather then the result of a random fight.

2. Pat Tillman

Pat Tillman was a star safety for the Arizona Cardinals and was on the path to superstardom in the NFL. However, after the September 11th attacks in 2001, Tillman turned down a three-year, $3.6 million offer from the Cardinals and enlisted in the Army instead. Tillman's life tragically came to an end when he was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan in 2004. While the circumstances of his death are still uncertain, Tillman will always be remembered for turning down a comfortable life in order to serve his country. 

1. Jose Fernandez

Jose Fernandez was one of baseball's best and brightest young stars, but was tragically taken from us far too soon. In the midst of a Cy Young caliber season, Fernandez died in a boating accident on September 25th, 2016 after crashing his boat into a rocky jetty off the Miami coast. Fernandez, and two other passengers that were with him, died on impact.