Former Raiders DT Russell killed in car crash

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) - Former NFL defensive tackle Darrell Russell and an unidentified person were killed Thursday morning after their speeding car crashed, hospital authorities said. Russell was 29.

According to a report on KCBS, the accident occurred on southbound La Cienega Boulevard just after 6 a.m. local time. Russell was a passenger in the car and pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a hospital spokesperson told SportsTicker.

The report said the driver of the Pontiac Grand Prix involved in the accident was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at UCLA Medical Center. According to the report, the car hit a curb, ran over a fire hydrant and knocked over several news racks before striking a bus, which was out of service with its flashers on.

The second overall pick in the 1997 draft from USC by the Oakland Raiders, Russell was a Pro Bowl selection in 1998-99. However, his career was marred by problems with drugs and the law. He was suspended three times for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Russell missed the first four games of the 2001 season after failing a drug test and was suspended again in January 2002. He was released by the Raiders after his second suspension, did not play that season and played eight games for Washington in 2003.

After being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on July 14, 2004, he was suspended indefinitely two weeks later after testing positive a third time.

In 2002, Russell was charged with drugging and raping a woman in California. Those charges were later dropped.

Russell had 176 tackles and 28 1/2 sacks in 75 games over five seasons with the Raiders.


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Updated Thursday, Dec 15, 2005