Patten was involved in a three-vehicle accident outside of Columbia, South Carolina, according to Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford, as referenced by NFL.com.
South Carolina Highway Patrolman Lance Cpl. Nick Pye confirmed to ESPN that Patten was operating a motorcycle, and during the crash, crossed the median and caused a collision between two additional cars.
A driver in one of the cars was taken to a local hospital, but his injuries were not disclosed, per ESPN.
Patriots, Former Teammates React to Patten’s Death
When news of Patten’s death began to spread, former teammates and current members of the organization paid their respects.
Patriots great Richard Seymour was “heartbroken” by the news.
Former Patriot and current WEEI personality Jermaine Wiggins said:
“He was one of those guys I felt like I looked up to. He was a leader.”
Former Patriots center and current ESPN analyst Damien Woody took to Twitter to pay respects.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft issued a statement after Patten’s death via the team’s official Twitter account. The same can be said for head coach Bill Belichick. The coach called Patten “an essential person and player in Patriots history.”
Former Patriots safety Lawyer Milloy spoke candidly and emotionally about the impact Patten had on him and the rest of his teammates.
The outpouring from teammates, coaches and ownership of the teams Patten played for was consistent.
David Patten’s Best Moments With the Patriots
CBS Sports’ Jeff Kerr noted Patten was the first player since 1979 to run for a touchdown, catch a touchdown or throw for a score in the same game.
Patten accomplished this rare feat in a 2001 regular season contest against the Indianapolis Colts. The Patriots won the game 38-17 in a season that saw them finish 11-5 on their way to their first Super Bowl championship.
That same season, Patten scored the only offensive touchdown in the AFC title game.
Patten ranks 22nd in Patriots history in receiving yards with 2,513. He is 29th in receptions with 165 and 24th in receiving touchdowns with 16.
During Patten’s 12-year NFL career, he played for five teams. He spent the first three years with the New York Giants where he had some success as a kick returner. He had one for a touchdown in 1998.
He landed with the Cleveland Browns for one abysmal season in 2000 when the team was 3-13. Patten would then head to the Patriots for four seasons. New England won the Super Bowl in three of his four years in Foxboro (2001, 2003 and 2004) and he played an integral role in the team’s offensive success.
Has his tenure with the team been longer, he would rank higher on the all-time list. Patten finished his NFL career in 2008 after playing his final four seasons split equally between the Washington Football Team and the New Orleans Saints.