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Former Charger Kiel dies in crash

His car struck a wall at high speed and he was ejected in the wreck in the Scripps Ranch area, police say.

July 06, 2008|Tony Perry | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — Former NFL player Terrence Kiel was killed Friday night when his car struck a wall and he was ejected, authorities said Saturday.

Kiel, 27, was a star at Texas A&M and played four seasons as a safety for the San Diego Chargers.

Police said Kiel was driving his 2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo at a high rate of speed in the Scripps Ranch area when he lost control, hit a curb and crashed into a wall.

In February 2007, he pleaded guilty to felony and misdemeanor drug charges involving sending codeine-based cough syrup to Texas. He was cut from the Chargers soon thereafter.

Kiel was sentenced to three years' probation that year by San Diego County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sontag. Sontag dropped the felony charge, the Associated Press reported at the time, because Kiel completed 175 hours of volunteer work and underwent counseling for gambling.

She told him: "It's baffling that you would take this chance and you would do this crime with so much at stake. I think you've suffered for it."

Kiel had been led off the practice field and arrested in the locker room by Drug Enforcement Administration agents in September 2006.

In 2003, the year he was drafted in the second round by the Chargers, Kiel was shot three times in an attempted carjacking in Houston.

At the time, Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith issued a release calling it "a very unfortunate incident."

"Terrence was the victim of a random act of violence," Smith said in a news release on the Chargers website. "He is a very nice young man and we are grateful that his injuries are not life-threatening. At this time, our only thoughts are for a speedy recovery. We are hopeful we will see Terrence at training camp."

In a brief news release about his death Saturday, Chargers officials said Kiel played in 59 games and started 51 of them.

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tony.perry@latimes.com

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