Ex-NBA player Rasual Butler dies in car crash
LOS ANGELES, USA – Former NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle, were killed in a pre-dawn single vehicle crash in Los Angeles on Wednesday, January 31, authorities said.
Butler, 38, and the 31-year-old LaBelle both died at the scene after the roll-over accident reported at 2:30am in the suburb of Studio City, Los Angeles police said.
Police said Butler lost control of his Range Rover, which struck 3 parking meters and hit a wall before flipping over twice.
Butler was drafted by the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2002 NBA draft.
He went on to play for the Heat, Hornets, Clippers, Bulls, Raptors, Pacers, Wizards and Spurs from 2002 to 2016.
LaBelle, a Canadian-born singer, was a contestant on the reality television show "American Idol" in 2004. The couple lived in Studio City.
"The LA Clippers are deeply saddened by the loss of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle," the team said in a statement.
"Rasual will long be remembered not only for his accomplishments on the court, but for his vibrant personality, positive outlook and the compassion he had for everyone around him."
Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat also issued statements offering condolences.
"Our entire organization is deeply saddened after learning of the death of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle," the Pacers said. " In his one season with us, Rasual was the consummate team player and a great role model for our younger players on how a professional should prepare and act, while being a positive influence on everyone who associated with him." – Rappler.com