Junior Seau seems to have had a rather unfortunate Monday, one that went from bad to worse. The NFL great apparently drove over a beachside cliff in Carlsbad, California, according to TMZ and the Los Angeles Times, just hours after being arrested on suspicion of assaulting his 25-year-old girlfriend. The Times posted a photo of skid marks leading to the cliff’s edge and TMZ posted photos of Seau’s damaged vehicle at the crash scene. Carlsbad Police are investigating, attempting to ascertain what caused the 41-year-old former Pro Bowler, who was alone and received minor injuries from the crash, to go veer off the road.
Seau told police, according to TMZ, that he fell asleep at the wheel after his early morning release from being arrested. He said he wasn’t attempting to commit suicide nor was he under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Blood samples were taken. Results of blood tests take up to six weeks to process.
“Preliminary investigation shows the vehicle left the roadway and travelled over the cliff, landing on the beach below,” Carlsbad police officials said in a statement. “The vehicle was only occupied by the driver, a male who was identified as Junior Seau … Investigation is continuing into how and why the accident occurred.”
Seau was taken to a nearby hospital, treated for his injuries, and released.
Carlsbad Police responded to an emergency call at 8:42 a.m. that a vehicle had left the road and plunged over a cliff. However, they refused to say whether or not the crash was in any way connected to the earlier arrest for suspected assault.
Seau’s live-in girlfriend, who was not identified, called the Oceanside Police late Sunday evening. Police later said in a statement that the 25-year-old alleged victim had not required medical attention although she claimed to have sustained minor injuries from Seau’s rough treatment. Seau, who was not present when officers arrived, called while police were at the residence, talked with the police, and drove back to the residence. He was subsequently arrested at 12:20 a.m. on suspicion of alleged assault.
Seau recently retired from a stellar career as an NFL defensive linebacker. He played an almost unheard of 20 seasons and was selected to the Pro Bowl 12 times. He began his career as a member of the San Diego Chargers, a First Round (fifth overall) draft pick out of USC. He played for the Chargers for 13 seasons before being traded in 2003 to the Miami Dolphins. After three years in Miami, Seau announced his retirement when he signed a one-day contract with the Chargers. That retirement ended quickly when he signed to play for the New England Patriots, for which he played another four seasons.
Junior Seau announced that he would retire a second time in January 2010.