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Retired LB Seau hospitalized following car crash, arrest

Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau drove his sport-utility vehicle off a cliff in Carlsbad, Calif., and was hospitalized with minor injuries Monday, less than nine hours after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.

Seau told police at the hospital that the crash occurred because he became sleepy, the *San Diego Union-Tribune* reported.

The 12-time Pro Bowl linebacker's white Cadillac SUV was found on the beach about 100 feet below the roadside, Carlsbad police Lt. Kelly Cain said.

Cain said it wasn't a sheer cliff, but was a significant, rough slope. Seau was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital in San Diego.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash, but a police spokesperson told NFL Network there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol.

The story led to speculation that Seau might have tried to commit suicide, but Seau's ex-wife, Gina Seau, said those reports were false. She made her comments soon after she and the couple's three children visited Seau in the hospital. She repeatedly said the crash and arrest weren't related.

Seau's 25-year-old live-in girlfriend told authorities that the former player assaulted her during an argument Sunday night at his Oceanside home, according to police in that city. She appeared to have minor injuries and didn't require medical treatment.

Seau, 41, was arrested outside his home about two hours after police arrived. He wasn't home when authorities arrived, but they asked him to return when he called his girlfriend.

Seau posted bail and was released from the San Diego County jail in Vista.

"At this point, we think he's fine, but we really don't have any comment," said Richard Doan, who answered the cell phone of Bette Hoffman, who works for Seau's foundation. "There are no injuries, but he seems to be a little shaken up."

Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Ohmstede declined to comment on Seau's condition.

Seau was a star linebacker at USC before going to the San Diego Chargers with the fifth overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft. He led the Chargers to the Super Bowl following the 1994 season and remained in San Diego until being traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2003.

Seau briefly left football in August 2006 after 13 seasons with San Diego and three with Miami. He signed with the New England Patriots four days later and started 14 of the 27 games he played for them over two seasons.

Seau retired after the 2007 season, then came out of retirement for the final four games in 2008. Seau played seven regular-season games in 2009, all as a backup, and made 15 tackles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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