Junior Seau drives off cliff

Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau was arrested on domestic violence charges and later drove off a...

Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau was arrested on domestic violence charges and later drove off a cliff early Monday. (JIM McISAAC/Getty Images)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:55 PM ET

Former NFL great Junior Seau has been hospitalized after plunging off a cliff in his SUV hours after being arrested on suspicion of domestic assault.

The 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker suffered non-life threatening injuries in the Monday morning crash, according to Carlsbad, Calif. police.

“Preliminary investigation shows the vehicle left the roadway and travelled over the cliff, landing on the beach below,” Carlsbad police 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, 41, was arrested earlier in the day by Oceanside, Calif. police after his 25-year-old live-in girlfriend reported she had allegedly been assaulted during an argument at their home.

“The victim reportedly sustained minor injuries that did not require medical treatment,” Oceanside police said in a statement. “On October 17, 2010 at 10:13 p.m. police were dispatched to the Seau residence on South Strand in Oceanside to investigate the report of a domestic violence assault … Seau was not at the residence when police arrived.

“Seau called the victim while police were on scene and spoke to the officers; he agreed to return to the home. Shortly after midnight Seau drove back to the scene and he was arrested without incident as he approached the residence.”

Seau posted bail and was released shortly after his arrest.

Hours later, Seau drove his 2004 Cadillac Escalade off the road and over a cliff, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The front end of the vehicle hit some rocks and flipped around and ended up on the beach, 30 feet below.

Seau was alone and conscious when rescuers arrived. There did not appear to be any signs of alcohol or drug abuse, but police requested a blood sample for testing.

Seau told investigators that he was sleepy at the time of the incident. Police told the Union-Tribune that Seau was not suicidal.

Seau was drafted fifth overall by the San Diego Chargers in 1990. He played for the Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots before retiring in early 2010.

He amassed 1,849 tackles, 56.5 sacks and 18 interceptions in his career.


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