Patriots

Former New England Patriot Junior Seau Drives SUV Off Cliff

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(AP Photo/KFMB-TV)

(AP Photo/KFMB-TV)

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CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) – It was a tumultuous 10 hours for Junior Seau. The former standout linebacker for the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots went from being arrested to plunging over a seaside cliff in his SUV to a hospital.

The 12-time Pro Bowler was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his live-in girlfriend, then less than nine hours later sent his white Cadillac SUV plunging off the road Monday down a rough, sloping hillside about 100 feet to the beach below, but suffered only minor injuries, Carlsbad Police Lt. Kelly Cain said.

Seau was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital in San Diego, where a spokeswoman reached by phone would give no information on his condition or say whether he had been released.

Police dispatcher Matthew Pinell said late Monday alcohol and drugs are not suspected to be factors in the crash “at this time.”

Seau told investigators he drove off the cliff because he fell asleep.

Cain told the North County Times that the lack of skid marks leading up to where the vehicle plunged off the cliff supported Seau’s statement.

“If you have somebody fall asleep, that’s the kind of exit you will have,” Cain said.

Seau’s 25-year-old girlfriend told authorities that Seau assaulted her during an argument Sunday night at his Oceanside home, according to Oceanside police. She appeared to have minor injuries and did not require medical treatment.

Seau, 41, was arrested outside his home about two hours after police arrived. He wasn’t home when authorities got there, but they asked him to return when he called his girlfriend.

Seau posted bail and was released from the San Diego County jail in Vista.

“At this point we think he’s fine, but we really don’t have any comment,” said Richard Doan, who answered the cell phone of Bette Hoffman, who works for Seau’s foundation. “There are no injuries, but he seems to be a little shaken up.”

Seau was a star linebacker with the University of Southern California before going to the San Diego Chargers with the fifth pick overall in the 1990 draft. He led the Chargers to the Super Bowl following the 1994 season and remained in San Diego until being traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2003.

He retired after the 2007 season after spending 13 seasons with San Diego, three with Miami and two with the New England Patriots.

(©  Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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