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Ex-NBA player Rasual Butler, wife die in car crash

By
Alex Butler
Former NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife Leah LaBelle died in a car crash early Wednesday morning in Studio City, Calif., according to multiple reports. Photo courtesy of Rasual Butler/Instagram.
Former NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife Leah LaBelle died in a car crash early Wednesday morning in Studio City, Calif., according to multiple reports. Photo courtesy of Rasual Butler/Instagram.

Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Former NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife Leah LaBelle died in a car crash Wednesday morning in Studio City, Calif., according to multiple reports.

Police said the 38-year-old was traveling in his car at speeds two to three times higher than the limit, according to NBC. The vehicle crashed into a shopping plaza on the 11000 block of Ventura Blvd.

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TMZ Sports reported that Butler lost control of his Range Rover, hitting a parking meter before slamming into a wall and flipping the vehicle at about 2 a.m.

Butler was a second round pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat. He played his first three seasons with the Heat, before joining the New Orleans Hornets in 2005. Butler spent the 2009 season with the Los Angeles Clippers before joining the Chicago Bulls in the middle of the 2010 season. He played for the Toronto Raptors in 2011 and Indiana Pacers in 2013. Butler ended his career with the Washington Wizards and San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, respectively.

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"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," the Miami Heat tweeted.

LaBelle appeared on American Idol in 2004.

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The Pacers also issued a statement, mourning Butler and his wife.

Butler made an Instagram post late Tuesday night before the accident.

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"We are here to be Ourselves and No one else!" he wrote.

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