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News Release

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Media Relations

Former USC Football Star Dies in Car Crash

Los Angeles:  A former USC football player, Darrell Russell, 29, died today when the Pontiac Grand Prix he was riding in lost control and crashed on La Cienega Boulevard, near 18th Street.  The driver, whose identity was withheld pending notification of his family, died at the UCLA Medical Center.  Russell died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
According to witnesses, the silver Grand Prix was traveling at a high rate of speed, south on La Cienega Boulevard, around 6 o’clock this morning.  The car made several erratic lane changes and lost control, hitting the curb, a tree, a newsstand, a fire hydrant, a light pole, then shearing off a second 10-inch diameter tree, before it finally struck an unoccupied MTA bus.  The bus driver was standing on the sidewalk and had to run to avoid being struck.  The car came to rest upright on the sidewalk, between the bus and a retaining wall.

Both the driver and Russell were unconscious when fire fighters arrived, within two minutes of the crash.

There was no evidence to indicate street racing was a factor in the collision.  No other person was injured in the collision.  The MTA bus was struck in the rear.  It was out of service at the time it was hit.

The unidentified driver was described as male, white, and 29 years old.  His identity will be released once his family is notified.

Darrell Russell was a resident of Santa Monica.  He last played for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

West Traffic Division is conducting the collision investigation.

Anyone with information on the collision may call 213-473-0222.  On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).