Basketball player, wife killed in high-speed crash

Posted on Feb 2 2018 - 10:31am by admin

Former NBA forward Rasual Butler and his wife were killed in a single-vehicle rollover crash in Los Angeles early Wednesday.

The Range Rover crashed at around 2.30am local time in the Studio City area and left a swath of damage along a major thoroughfare.

Los Angeles police said in a statement that Butler was speeding before his vehicle jumped a curb, hit three parking meters and a concrete wall and then flipped over twice.

The vehicle came to rest inside a shopping mall parking lot.

Scene of the accident. Metro photo

Butler, 38, and Leah LaBelle Vladowski, 31, were pronounced dead at the scene, said Ed Winter, assistant chief investigator with the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Autopsies were pending.

Butler was drafted in 2002 by the Miami Heat out of LaSalle University in his hometown of Philadelphia.

He played for eight NBA teams during his 13-year career, including the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs. He had career averages of 7.5 points and 2.4 rebounds.

Butler’s death sent shock waves through the NBA.

“This is beyond a sad day for the Miami Heat Family,” team President Pat Riley said in a statement.

“Rasual was one of the greatest people we have ever had play for us; a great player, teammate and better person.” Indiana Pacers President Kevin Pritchard expressed a similar sentiment.

“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,” he said.


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