Tomlinson says he's 'devastated' by father's death

Updated: February 24, 2007, 4:30 PM ET
Associated Press

WACO, Texas -- San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson said Saturday he was "devastated" by the death of his father, who was killed when the pickup truck he was riding in flipped on a Texas highway.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Oliver Tomlinson, 71, was killed Friday afternoon in the one-vehicle rollover. The driver, Ronald C. McClain, was rushed by ambulance to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center, where he later died. The 48-year-old McClain was Tomlinson's brother-in-law, authorities said.

"My father and I had a great relationship, and I am devastated by his passing," the NFL MVP said in a short statement issued Saturday afternoon. "I will miss him."

LaDainian Tomlinson starred at Waco's University High School before going on to TCU and the Chargers.

"We thank everyone for their kind words and thoughts and hope they will continue to respect our family's privacy at this sad time," he added.

The statement did not mention funeral arrangements or other details.

Jewel Tomlinson, Oliver's wife and LaDainian's stepmother, told the Waco Tribune-Herald that Oliver and McClain had been driving back to Waco after a trip to the family home in Tomlinson Hill when the accident occurred.

Investigators said it appears that McClain lost control of the truck after he drifted to the right side of the road and then overcorrected his steering. The truck veered into a ditch and crashed into a mound of gravel. Both men were ejected from the vehicle.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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