Former NBA forward 38-year-old Rasual Butler and his 31-year-old wife were killed on January 31 when their speeding Range Rover crashed and flipped over.
Butler’s wife, Leah LaBelle, was a contestant on American Idol during the 2004 season.
According to TMZ, Butler crashed his Range Rover at 2 am local time while travelling near Studio City Los Angeles.
The Range Rover is believed to have hit a parking meter before crashing into a wall and flipping over.
Los Angeles police have released a statement saying that they believe Butler was speeding at least twice the 35mph speed limit before the crash.
Butler and LaBelle were the only reported casualties.
Butler played in the NBA for 13 seasons from 2002 to 2016. He was selected by the Miami Heat in the 2002 NBA Draft with the 53rd pick.
One of his most successful seasons was with the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2009-10 season, where he averaged 11.9 ppg and was playing on average 33 minutes a night.
In 2013, Butler was named the NBA’s D-League’s ‘Impact Player of the Year.’
Leah Labelle was a Canadian-born, American R&B singer. In the third season of American Idol, she finished in 12th place losing to the eventual winner Fantasia Barrino.
After Idol, Labelle continued to sing but went back to finish high school in Seattle first. Between 2004 and 2011 she continued to sing and achieved a following and success on YouTube.
Hours before the crash, Butler shared a now poignant post on Twitter. The tweet read: “We are here to be Ourselves and No one else!”
There was a link associated with the tweet, which took users to a photo of Butler’s Instagram page. The Instagram photo had three words: ‘here to create.’
Butler and LaBelle are survived by their young daughter Raven.
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