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Anguish, Sympathy For Heap After Ex-NFL Player’s Kid Killed

BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — Condolences are pouring in for the family of former Raven Todd Heap, after a tragic accident at his home in Arizona.

Police say Heap was moving his truck in the driveway of his Mesa, Arizona home and accidentally ran over his 3-year-old daughter. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Todd Heap last played with the Ravens in 2010 and left a lasting impression with fans in Baltimore.

Baltimore loved number 86, where he played ten seasons with the Ravens, before retiring from football with the Cardinals in 2012.

MedStar Franklin Square’s pediatric center even bears his name, after his one-million dollar donation to help Baltimore families.

“When I look up and see my name up there, and I’m like, ‘wow, there’s a lot of people behind that name,'” said Heap, about the pediatric center.

President of MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center and Senior Vice President for MedStar Health, Sam Moskowitz said in a statement:

“We are so deeply saddened by this unspeakable tragedy facing our friend, Todd Heap and his family. It was with his kind, heartfelt support in 2007 that we opened the Todd Heap Family Pediatric Center in the emergency department at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, where every child who has come through those doors since, gently reminds us of the indelible legacy Todd left in our community.

On behalf of all of us at MedStar Franklin Square, we offer our prayers and support to the Heap family during this difficult time.”

In 2014, Heap was inducted into the Ring of Honor, the Ravens’ highest award for a passionate player who loved the Charm City.

Since the tragedy, Baltimore has shown, it loves him right back.

The Ravens released a statement on Saturday:

“We cannot imagine the heartbreak and sorrow Todd and Ashley’s family feels right now. This is knee-buckling news and an overwhelmingly sad tragedy.

Our prayers, our thoughts, and our hearts are with the Heaps, who have contributed so much to the Ravens and Baltimore community.

We believe their deep faith and tremendous support from friends and family will help them through this unimaginable time.”

Heaps’ teammates from both the Cardinals and the Ravens took to social media to voice their support for the family on social media.

Ray Lewis tweeting, “Prayers and thoughts surround the Todd Heap family today and always.”

Jay Feely, who played with Heap on the Arizona Cardinals, wrote on Twitter :

An unthinkable tragedy, hits close to home from thousands of miles away.

Heap is from a Mormon family that stretches its lineage 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 2-year-old daughter,” Heap told Byrne, “and it’s hard to get a bigger smile than that. I took all three of my boys golfing this morning. That was a lot of fun. (My wife) Ashley makes me smile every day. Family and all of the events we do, that regularly makes me smile.”

In a statement, the Cardinals called the death “a grief that is beyond words and one which no family should experience. Hopefully the prayers, love and support of their incredible group of friends and family provide him the comfort that along with their strong faith will lead them through this unspeakably difficult time.”

Heap, 37, grew up in Mesa, led 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 Cardinals 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.

Mesa police Detective Steve Berry said the investigation into the accident continues but that there are no suspicious circumstances and no signs of impairment.

Heap and his wife have four other children.

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(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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