Former NBA player Rasual Butler and his wife, former American Idol contestant Leah LaBelle, died early Wednesday morning in a single-car crash in Studio City, Calif. Butler was 38. LaBelle was 31.
At approximately 2:30 a.m., Butler lost control of the Range Rover he was driving, and according to NBC Los Angeles, authorities said he was driving at speeds that were two to three times the speed limit.
The vehicle reportedly jumped a curb, struck parking meters and a wall, flipped twice and landed in the parking lot of a shopping center on Ventura Boulevard.
Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene, according to reports.
Butler was a 13-year veteran NBA forward who averaged 7.5 points and 2.4 rebounds per game while playing for such teams as the Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards. He spent his final season playing for the San Antonio Spurs.
LaBelle was a contestant on the third season of American Idol in 2004. She later signed with Epic Records/So So Def Recordings as an R&B singer. Her 2012 single “Sexify” was written and produced by Pharrell Williams, who—along with Jermaine Dupri and singer JoJo—made a cameo in the video.
JoJo tweeted about LaBelle Wednesday afternoon:
“Leah. beautiful sister from another mister. You will NEVER EVER be forgotten. Your voice. Your spirit. Your light. Cannot comprehend what this loss means. Thinking about your unwavering faith in God brings me peace. I love you, forever angel,” the singer wrote.
The cause of the crash is still being investigated.