Tragedy strikes family of former Arizona Cardinal

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Former Arizona Cardinals’ tight end Todd Heap accidentally killed his three-year old daughter while moving his truck in driveway

The upcoming NFL Draft has taken a backseat for the Arizona Cardinals.

Todd Heap, a former tight end and family member of the Cardinals’ organization, experienced tragedy in his own family on Friday. Reports say the ex-Arizona State University standout was moving his truck when the vehicle struck his three-year old daughter. The toddler was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The horrible incident took place in the driveway of the Heap residence in the gated community of Las Sendas, in Mesa, Arizona. Apparently, Heap failed to see his daughter when he moved his truck forward, killing her.

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Detective Steve Berry of the Mesa Police Department indicated that an investigation is ongoing. Heap showed no signs of impairment at the scene.

Condolences have been pouring in from around the NFL. The Cards released a statement, stating “a grief that is beyond words and one which no family should experience. Hopefully the prayers, love and support of their incredible group of friends and family provide him the comfort that, along with their strong faith, will lead them through this unspeakably difficult time.”

Former Arizona kicker Jay Feely offered his sentiments 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 loves his family.”

Heap, a 37-year old Mormon, grew up in Mesa. After a stellar college career as a Sun Devil, the 6’5″, 252 lb talent was drafted in 2001. The Baltimore Ravens made him their first-round pick, the 31st-overall selection in the draft.

He played 10 seasons with the Ravens, representing the team in the Pro Bowl twice (2002-03). He accumulated 467 receptions, 5,492 yards and 41 touchdowns while with Baltimore.

He came home to Arizona in 2011 to play for the Cardinals. In two campaigns in the desert, Heap played in 12 games, making five starts. He tallied 32 catches for 377 yards and a score for the club.