Former American Basketball player Rasual Butler and his wife Leah LaBelle, Former American Idol contestant died in an early morning accident on Wednesday after being killed in a rollover car crash in Los Angeles.The Range Rover crash occurred at around 2.30am in the Studio City area.
Los Angeles Police confirmed in a statement that both the parties were declared dead on the mishap scene and said that an autopsy is pending.They said that Butler was the driver who while speeding lost control and collided with the curb. It then hit a wall and flipped twice before coming to a rest inside a shopping mall parking lot. The Land Rover vehicle had Leah as the passenger.
Butler was drafted in 2002 by the Miami Heat in his hometown. During his 14-year old career, he played for eight NBA teams including the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, and San Antonio Spurs. Butler’s death has sent disturbing waves through the NBA.
After the tragic death, The NBA released a statement which said it was ‘devastated’ by Butler’s death.The NBA said :
“A pro’s pro, Rasual enjoyed a long, successful career and was widely respected by his peers and coaches, We grieve with their loved ones during this difficult time.It’s always hard to cope with losing those you shared your life with, but we feel blessed to have had such a bright light shine in all of our lives.”
Butler was from Philadelphia and played four years of college basketball at La SalleButler played for eight NBA clubs including Miami. He averaged 7.5 points, with a career-high of 33 points on two occasions.
For the Miami Heat Family, this is indeed a sad day. Team President Pat Riley said:‘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.’
The Miami Heat added, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle. Our sincere condolences, thoughts, and prayers go out to the family and many friends of Rasual and Leah. They will be missed.”
Lamar Odom, Butler’s Former teammate also expressed his condolences on social media: “Words can’t explain this feeling R.I.P. Lil bro #SualBop.”
Rasual is survived by a daughter from a previous relationship.