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David Patten, former Patriots wide receiver, killed in motorcycle crash

Coach Bill Belichick called Patten "an essential person and player in Patriots history, without whom we would not have been Super Bowl champions."
Image: David Patten
David Patten of the New England Patriots against the San Diego Chargers at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, Calif., in 2002.Owen C. Shaw / Getty Images file

Long-time NFL wide receiver David Patten, a member of three Super Bowl winning teams with the New England Patriots, was killed Thursday in a motorcycle crash in his native South Carolina, officials said.

He was 47.

Patten was riding a 2006 Kawasaki motorcycle when he collided with a Chevrolet sedan at 9:35 pm. in Columbia, authorities said.

"I am heartbroken by the news of David's passing," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Friday in a statement. “He was a devout Christian who followed his passion following his football career and founded his own ministry. David transitioned from an undersized and understated wide receiver to a powerful and passionate preacher."

Patten played 12 seasons in the NFL, making stops with the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, the Washington Football Team and New Orleans Saints.

He's best known for a four-year run with the Patriots, where he was a frequent target of quarterback Tom Brady. Patten snagged 16 of his 24 career touchdowns receptions with New England.

Patten was on Patriot teams that won the Super Bowl in 2002, 2004 and 2005. He caught a touchdown pass in the Patriots' first championship, a 20-17 victory over the then-St. Louis Rams.

"It breaks my heart to hear of David’s tragic passing at such a young age,” New England Coach Bill Belichick said in a statement.

"He is an essential person and player in Patriots history, without whom we would not have been Super Bowl champions. I especially appreciate David for his professional journey. As much as anyone, David epitomized the unheralded, self-made player who defied enormous odds to not only earn a job in the NFL but to become a key player on multiple championship teams.”

The fatal crash is under investigation.

The motorcycle was traveling west on Clemson Road when it “went left of center” and collided with the eastbound Chevy, said South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Nick Pye.

The Chevy then sideswiped a 2019 Honda van, which was also headed east. The driver of the Chevy and two people inside the Honda were all wearing seatbelts and survived their injuries, according to Pye.

Patten played football at Lower Richland High School in Hopkins, South Carolina before going to Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina.

His son, Daquan Patten, is a senior wide receiver at Western Carolina.