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Former NFL All-Pro Linebacker Robertson killed in local crash

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MABANK–Former NFL Linebacker and Founder of House of Isaiah, Isiah Robertson Jr., died from injuries suffered in a three-vehicle collision north of Mabank Dec. 6.

Reports show that Robertson, 69, was the driver and sole occupant of a limousine traveling north of Mabank on State Highway 198 last Thursday evening. The limo skidded on the wet pavement going into a curve and came to rest partially in the roadway. The limo was struck by a Ford Ranger, driven by Aron Green, 37, which pushed it into the southbound lane. The limo was then struck again by another vehicle driven by Shauna Marshall, 21.

Green was transported to a Tyler hospital, treated and released. Robertson was transported to UT Health – Athens, where he later died.

Robertson was minutes away from House of Isaiah, a faith-based drug treatment center he founded in 1989. The center offers a peaceful setting for its seven-step program for men suffering from alcohol and drug dependency. Since then, over 5,000 men have been through the program.

Robertson had been at Grand Prairie High School earlier in the evening, giving a speech at a banquet for the football team where he spoke of his own recovery from addiction and told the crowd, "When you have a setback, you don’t have to take a step back because God’s got a comeback. I want to tell you, God has a plan for every one of you."

Robertson was drafted by the Rams from Southern University in the first round of the 1971 NFL draft. He remained with the team through 1978 before playing for the Buffalo Bills from 1979 to 1982. He was named his first-team All-Pro in 1973 and 1976 and was chosen for the Pro Bowl in his rookie 1971 season, as well as 1973-77. The Rams had success when Robertson was on the team, winning six straight NFC West titles from 1973 to 1978. He retired in 1982.

Robertson was frequently seen around Mabank and Gun Barrel City, shopping and running errands for House of Isaiah, many times accompanied by some of the residents. He was also a member of Christian Life Center Church.

CLC Pastor Barry Boatright said, "One of Isiah’s favorite quotes was, ‘If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done." He used it often, speaking to the men in his program." Christian Life Center Church is accepting donations for the House of Isaiah to aid in the transition.

Many of the comments on Robertson’s online obituary attest to the good his program had done for the men who attended, and the opportunity given to change their lives.

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