Ex-NFL player Todd Heap was driving truck that hit and killed daughter, three

Heap, 37, was behind the wheel when he accidentally struck the girl on the driveway of their home in suburban Phoenix

Condolences poured in for retired NFL player Todd Heap and his family on Saturday, a day after police say the former Pro Bowl tight objective accidentally ran over his three-year-old daughter with a truck, killing her. Heap was moving the truck at his home in Mesa, a Phoenix suburb, on Friday when he struck the girl, police told. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The Baltimore Ravens, Heaps longtime former team, called the accident knee-buckling news and an overwhelming tragedy.

Jay Feely, who played with Heap on the Arizona Cardinal, wrote on Twitter: My heart is infringe for Todd Heap and his family. One of the kindest people Ive ever met and a man who lives for his family.

Heap spent 10 seasons with the Ravens, who selected him in the first round out of Arizona State in 2001. He expended two seasons with the Cardinals before retiring with 42 career touchdowns. He induced the Pro Bowl after the 2002 and 2003 seasons and was a second-team All-Pro in 2003. Heap was inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor in 2014.

We cannot imagine the heartbreak and sorrow Todd and Ashleys family feelings right now, the Ravens said in a statement. We believe their deep faith and tremendous support from friends and family will help them through this unimaginable time.

Heap is from a Mormon family that stretches its pedigree to the early days of the faith. Since 2007, he and his wife have operated a foundation to help sick and disadvantaged children.

He talked about family being the most important thing in his life in a 2015 interview with Kevin Byrne, the Ravens senior vice president for public and community relations.

I just got done jumping on the trampoline with my two-year-old daughter, Heap told Byrne, and its hard to get a bigger smile than that. I took all three of my sons golfing this morning. That was a lot of fun.[ My wife] Ashley constructs me smile every day. Family and all of the events we do, that regularly constructs me smile.

In a statement, the Cardinals called the demise a sorrow that is beyond words and one which no family should experience. Hopefully the prayers, love and subsistence of their unbelievable group of friends and family offer him the comfort that along with their strong faith will result them through this unspeakably difficult time.

Heap, 37, grew up in Mesa, resulted his high school football team to two state championships and was a standout at Arizona State before leaving early for the NFL. The Heaps have contributed so much to the Arizona State Sun Devils, Baltimore Ravens, and Arizona Cardinal communities, and we hope their family, friends and our respective communities can provide them with love and support as they work through this unspeakable heartbreak, Arizona State said in a statement.

The Ravens chose Heap with the 31 st overall picking in the 2001 draft, and he had some outstanding years with the team. He is the Ravens career leader in touchdown receptions and is second in overall receptions and receiving yards.

Heap played for the Ravens through 2010. He signed with the Cardinals in 2011, played two games the following season and officially retired in 2013.

Absolutely gutted for Todd Heap and his family, Houston Texans star JJ Watt said in a tweet. Supposes are with them in this incredibly tough time.

Mesa police Detective Steve Berry said the investigation into the accident continues but that there are no suspicious circumstances and no signs of impairment. The Maricopa County Medical Examiners office has not released the girls identity or ruled on a cause of death.

The child safety advocacy group KidsandCars.org told more than 800 infants have been killed in the past two decades in instances in which a child in front of a vehicle wasnt ensure by the driver. The organisations chairwoman, Janette Fennell, told blind zones in the front and back of cars cause such tragedies.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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