Ex-NBA Player Rasual Butler, Wife Leah LaBelle Killed In Car Crash In California

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STUDIO CITY, Calif. (CBS News) — Former NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife, singer Leah LaBelle, were killed Wednesday morning after their speeding Range Rover lost control in Studio City, California, and crashed into the parking lot of a strip mall, CBS Los Angeles reports. Police say the vehicle struck three parking meters and a retaining wall before it landed in the parking lot.

Upon their arrival, authorities pronounced a man and woman dead at the scene. The coroner’s office confirmed 38-year-old Butler’s identity to CBS Los Angeles, but did not release the name of the woman killed in the crash. In a tweet, the Los Angeles Clippers — whom Butler played for — identified LaBelle as the other victim.

“The L.A. Clippers are deeply saddened by the loss of Rasual Butler and his wife, Leah LaBelle. 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,” the Clippers said.

Butler played 13 seasons in the NBA from 2002 to 2015. LaBelle was a contestant on the third season of “American Idol” in 2004.

A preliminary investigation revealed the Range Rover was traveling at least twice the 35 mph speed limit. Police say there is no indication that the vehicle was street racing.

Authorities have not said who was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash. No other injuries were reported.

The cause of the collision is being investigated.

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