Jeff O'Neill is Toronto for NHL meetings

Updated: July 21, 2005, 4:50 PM ET
Associated Press

VAUGHAN, Ont. -- The brother of Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff O'Neill was killed Thursday morning in a car crash north of Toronto, police said.

"The fellow who was killed is Donny O'Neill -- and his brother is Jeff O'Neill of the Carolina Hurricanes," said Sgt. Cam Wooley of the Ontario Provincial Police.

O'Neill was 33 and a resident of King City, north of Toronto.

The accident occurred at about 4:30 a.m. on a ramp linking two major highways.

"Unfortunately, the driver was not wearing a seat belt and the vehicle rolled on to him [and] crushed him," Wooley said.

O'Neill was pronounced dead on the scene by the coroner.

Jeff O'Neill, a 29-year-old Ontario native, is in Toronto to attend the NHL players' association meetings. He has played every game of his NHL career with the franchise, which picked him in the first round of the 1994 draft while still the Hartford Whalers.

"The Hurricanes and the O'Neill family have been linked closely for more than a decade, and through the years many of us had gotten to know Donny," the team said in a statement posted on its Web site. "We are well aware of what type of person he was and how much he meant to Jeff and his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the O'Neills as we all mourn this tragedy."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press