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Junior Seau fell asleep at the wheel before SUV cliff dive

October 18, 2010 |  7:49 pm


Junior Seau, the retired NFL star who drove off a cliff Monday morning after being arrested and released overnight on suspicion of domestic violence, apparently fell asleep at the wheel, Carlsbad police said in a statement reported by L.A. Now. No alcohol or drugs were involved, police said, and Seau didn't intend to take that right turn off the cliff.

Junior Seau's wrecked Cadillac SUV CliffsNotes version: He wasn't trying to kill himself because of allegations by his 25-year-old live-in girlfriend, whose name hasn't been released.

The linebacker's ex-wife and kids visited him in the hospital Monday. "He would never try to harm himself or anyone else," ex-wife Gina Seau told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "He's fine. ... He's going to get through this and he's going to move on." She said the onetime USC standout had never threatened her or tried to hurt her while they were married, and questioned the assault allegation.

Think it through: The alleged dispute happened before police were dispatched to Seau's address at 10:13 p.m. Sunday. He wasn't there at the time, but talked to police after calling his 25-year-old girlfriend while they were on site and agreed to return home. The 41-year-old was arrested around midnight, booked around 2 a.m. Monday and released after posting bail a little before 3:30 a.m. -- so any way you slice it, there wasn't time for a lot of sleep.

Dozing off on a stretch of highway only five hours later isn't exactly shocking -- though careening 75 to 100 feet down rocks toward the beach is a pretty harsh way to wake up, even for someone who's used to taking NFL-size hits. 

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Top photo: Tire tracks made by Junior Seau's Cadillac SUV when he drove off the road in Carlsbad on Oct. 18, 2010. Credit: Gregory Bull / Associated Press

Second photo: Seau's wrecked car is hauled onto a truck after his one-car accident Oct. 18, 2010. Credit: KFMB-TV / Associated Press

Related dispatch from the Ministry of Gossip:

Junior Seau survives crash off cliff after domestic violence arrest