Rasual Butler, 38, who played 13 seasons in the NBA, and his wife, Leah Labelle, an “American Idol” star, died in a car accident in California near Studio City. According to a news report in the Daily Mail, the Range Rover they were traveling in flipped over and crashed early morning on Jan. 31. The vehicle reportedly hit a parking meter before crashing into a wall and flipping over.
Based on preliminary investigations, police believe Butler traveled at least twice the 35 mph speed limit on that roadway. Butler’s wife, Labelle, 31, was a contestant during the 2004 season of “American Idol.” Butler played for several teams, including the Miami Heat, New Orleans Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers, Washington Wizards, and San Antonio Spurs. He was also included in the largest trade in NBA history when he was sent to the New Orleans Hornets.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members, friends and fans of Rasual Butler and Leah Labelle. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Speeding is Dangerous
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding has been involved in about one-third of all car accidents in the United States. In 2015, speeding contributed to 27 percent of all fatal crashes claiming 9,557 lives. The consequences of speeding are far-ranging and often include a greater potential for loss of vehicle control; reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment; increase stopping distance after a driver perceives a hazard; and an increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries.
Factors to Examine
In the aftermath of a fatal, tragic car accident, family members of the deceased may have a number of questions. This is why it is important to have accident reconstruction experts thoroughly examine the scene and the vehicle after a crash. Some crashes may have been caused by a vehicle defect or mechanical malfunction in the vehicle. There are also cases where the vehicle may not have been “crashworthy.” In other words, it may have lacked the ability to protect its occupants reasonably.
In cases where vehicle defects are involved, families of deceased victims may have a claim against the automaker. In these cases, an expert must thoroughly examine vehicles for evidence of defects, malfunctions or design flaws.