(CNN) – David Patton, who won three Super Bowls for New England Patriots between 2001 and 2004, died on Thursday, according to a team report. Patton is 47 years old.
According to the newspaper State, Richland County Coroner confirmed Patton was killed in a motorcycle accident. A South Carolina highway patrol was crossing Patton’s motorcycle center line when it collided with another vehicle on Clemson Road outside of South Carolina, in oncoming traffic.
The Richland County Coroner’s Office did not respond to a request for comment from CNN.
“I was devastated by the news of David’s death,” said Robert Croft, Patriots’ president and CEO. “He was a devout Christian who pursued his passion for football and established his own ministry. David went from being a low-key receiver to a powerful and passionate preacher. In New England, he will always be remembered as a three-time Super Bowl champion.
Sam Gordon, a friend and representative of Patton, expressed his regret in his heartfelt post on social media.
“Very rarely do people call their favorite childhood heroes or players friends. He blessed me,” Gordon wrote. “Thank you so much for your friendship, inspiration and trust in me as your representative.”
Patton played for five different NFL teams in his 12-year career and saw his biggest success as a member of the Patriots. Patton is credited with capturing the first Super Bowl touchdown pass of Tom Brady’s career in 2002. That was the only attack on the Patriots in the 20-17 win over the St. Louis Rams. Patton won two more Super Bowls with the Patriots over the next 3 years.
A Instagram post, Tom Brady wrote about Patton: “A talented expert. RIP is my friend. David is in love with my family. “
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said, “It breaks my heart to hear about David going through such a tragic time at such a young age.” I thank David for training. He was an essential figure and player in the history of the Patriots and without him we would not have been Super Bowl champions. I especially thank David for his career. “
Patton was a major broadcaster at the University of West Carolina, where he played from 1992 to 1995. He was not drafted in 1996 and played American football for a year. Arena Before getting his NFL shot with the New York Giants in 1997. Patton hit 24 touchdowns in his NFL career, including 16 with the Patriots.
“Like everyone else, David was an unprecedented, self-created player who not only won a job in the NFL, but also overcame the enormous odds of becoming a key player on several champion teams,” Belich said. “I can speak for anyone who is happy to be around David, saying his work ethic, positive energy and character are elite. My condolences to his family and loved ones.”
With information from Hannah Sarison
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