Hours after being arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, former San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau(notes) drove his car off a cliff in California, 30-feet below the road, and sustained injuries in the wreck. The future Hall of Famer survived, according to law enforcement officials.
Both stories were first reported by TMZ, but have since been confirmed by other sources such as the Associated Press.
Seau was arrested early Monday morning in San Diego after an alleged incident with his 25-year-old live-in girlfriend. Police say Seau assaulted her during a verbal altercation late Sunday night. TMZ reports that she suffered minor injuries but did not require medical treatment.
The former NFL star had left the house before police arrived but was arrested immediately upon his return. Seau was briefly booked in a detention center on charges of felony spousal assault and was released at 3:20 a.m. PT after posting bail.
Six hours later, his car drove off a road near Carlsbad, Calif., and landed at the bottom of a hill a few feet from the Pacific Ocean. Persons familiar with the road say the section Seau drove off was not curved. In a later statement to police, Seau insisted he wasn't trying to kill himself and that the crash was the result of him falling asleep at the wheel.
Seau was taken to a local hospital. Reports say he emerged from the car with only minor cuts and bruises.
The 41-year-old Seau was a nine-time NFL All-Pro and played in 12 Pro Bowls during his career. He played in seven games for the New England Patriots last season but went unsigned during the offseason. When he becomes eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015, Seau is a near-lock to be enshrined on the first ballot.
Seau is well-known in the San Diego area for his charity efforts. His Seau Foundation has donated nearly $4 million to youth organizations in the area and also gives scholarship money to college students of limited means. In 1994, Seau was named NFL Man of the Year.
This post will be updated as news breaks.
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