"Witnesses say the BMW that was involved in the collision and caused it was traveling at speeds greater than 100 mph," said CHP Ofc. Daniel Hill.
The CHP says Howard's sedan struck the back of a truck on northbound I-880 just before 1 a.m. It went airborne flying over the center median. It glanced off an oncoming car and crashed into a Honda CRV, killing the driver and Howard.
"So it would have had to at least travel six lanes plus the center median," said Hill.
Neighbors say 64-year-old Zeng Long Liu of Hayward was going home from work before he was killed in the crash.
"Mr. Liu, he was a good man. We got the bad news today in the morning," said Liu's neighbor Juven Hernandez.
Merinda Patterson, another neighbor of Liu said she was angered by this tragedy because "[Howard] took someone else's life, an innocent person's life."
The CHP says it has not ruled out the possibility of a vehicle malfunction and it's still awaiting blood alcohol tests.
Howard's friend and former Raiders running back Joseph Echema told us, "I talked to him last night, maybe around 7 or 8. He was going to go out to a comedy show with his girlfriend. So that was the last I heard from him." He thinks Howard had just dropped his girlfriend off and was on his way home to Alameda in his BMW 750.
The CHP says the BMW 700 series is one of the highest rated vehicles for safety features. However, the CHP says even with his seatbelt on, Howard was going too fast for any safety feature to save him.
Howard played with the Raiders from 2006 to 2010. This season, he played two games for the Atlanta Falcons, but was released last week.
Bay City News contributed to this report.