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Former Clipper, wife die in crash


Former NBA star Rasual Butler and a woman believed to be his wife were killed this week in a rollover crash in Studio City.

The solo vehicle crash was reported around 2:30 a.m. on Ventura Boulevard near Arch Drive, according to an officer at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Traffic Division.

Butler, 38, of Studio City died at the scene, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.

The coroner’s office withheld the name of the fatally injured woman, citing the need to notify her next-of-kin, but identified her as Butler’s wife, singer Leah LaBelle, who appeared on the third season of “American Idol” in 2004.

Butler lost control of his Range Rover, which struck a parking meter, slammed into a wall and rolled over, TMZ reported. Police said the driver was likely speeding, judging by the debris at the crash site.

Butler, who was drafted by the Miami Heat in 2002, had a long NBA career, playing for several teams, including the Los Angeles Clippers. He retired in 2016.