The father of New England Patriots running back James White died in a car accident on Sunday (September 20) afternoon in Cooper City, Florida. White learned of the tragic news about 90 minutes before the Patriots' primetime game against the Seattle Seahawks and was inactive.
The Broward County Sheriff's Office said when deputies arrived at the scene of the accident, they found one vehicle had flipped over and another car was on fire. Officials said that White's father, Tyrone, was pronounced dead at the scene and his mother, Lisa, remains hospitalized in critical condition. A third person was involved in the crash, but authorities did not provide their identity or information about their condition.
Investigators are working to determine the cause of the accident.
Tyrone was a captain with the Miami-Dade Police Department.
"I'm extremely saddened after learning of the passing of MDPD Captain Tyrone White earlier today as a result of an off-duty traffic crash in Broward County. I offered his family my deepest condolences on behalf of his MDPD family. May he rest in eternal peace", Miami-Dade Police Department director Alfredo Ramirez III wrote on Twitter. "Thank you for your service Capt. White. My sincere appreciation also goes out to @browardsheriff for your professionalism during this difficult time. @bsosherifftony"
Players from both teams told reporters after the game, they were heartbroken by the news.
"Our hearts are heavy for James," Patriots safety Devin McCourty said "It's just tough, man. There's no words you can say. Just wanted to go out there and play our hearts out for him. It's just devastating. I was heartbroken for him."
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who played with White at the University of Wisconsin, addressed the tragedy after the Seahawks 35-30 win.
"My heart's been heavy all day thinking about him, so obviously the game was the game. This year's been a tough year as a whole, and a lot of people that we know (are impacted) and people just going through so much. But James, I'm praying for you, man, if you can hear me."
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