LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Former NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife died in an automobile accident Wednesday in California.
According to Los Angeles police, Butler was speeding before jumping a curb, and his vehicle hit three parking meters and a concrete wall before flipping over twice and coming to rest in a shopping mall parking lot.
Butler, 38, and his wife, Leah LaBelle Vladowski, 31, were pronounced dead at the scene, Ed Winter, assistant chief investigator with the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, said.
Butler played 13 seasons in the NBA with eight franchises as a swingman after being drafted out of La Salle by the Miami Heat in 2002.
“This is beyond a sad day for the Miami HEAT Family,” team president Pat Riley said. “The loss of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah, is devastating. Rasual was one of the greatest people we have ever had play for us; a great player, teammate and better person.
“We feel blessed to have had such a bright light shine in all of our lives.”