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PHOENIX — Condolences poured in for retired NFL player Todd Heap and his family Saturday, a day after police say the former Pro Bowl tight end accidentally ran over his 3-year-old daughter with a truck, killing her.
Heap was moving the truck at his home in Mesa, a Phoenix suburb, on Friday when he struck the girl, police said. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.
The Ravens, Heap’s longtime former team, called the accident “knee-buckling news and an overwhelming tragedy.”
Jay Feely, who played with Heap on the Cardinals, wrote on Twitter:
My heart is broken for Todd Heap and his family. One of the kindest persons I’ve ever met and a man who lives for his family. 🙏🏻🙏🏻
— Jay Feely (@jayfeely) April 15, 2017
Heap spent 10 seasons with the Ravens, who selected him in the first round out of Arizona State in 2001. He spent two seasons with the Cardinals before retiring with 42 career touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl after the 2002 and ’03 seasons and was a second-team All-Pro in 2003.
Heap also is a member of the Raven’s Ring of Honor.
“We cannot imagine the heartbreak and sorrow Todd and Ashley’s family feels right now,” the Ravens said in a statement. “We believe their deep faith and tremendous support from friends and family will help them through this unimaginable time.”
Heap is from a Mormon family that stretches its lineage to the early days of the faith. Since 2007, he and his wife have operated a foundation to help sick and disadvantaged children.
Heap, 37, grew up in Mesa, led his high school football team to two state championships and was a standout at Arizona State before leaving early for the NFL.
“Absolutely gutted for Todd Heap and his family,” Texans star J.J. Watt said in a tweet. “Thoughts are with them in this incredibly tough time.”
Mesa police Detective Steve Berry said the investigation into the accident continues but that there are no suspicious circumstances and no signs of impairment.