(L.A.) Marcus Cassel, 23, Died in a Single-Vehicle Crash

Case Number: 2006-08837

Los Angeles County is reporting the death of a 23-year-old Black male that occurred in a hospital.

The coroner’s office has identified the man as Marcus Cassel.

Manner of Death: Accident

Cause of Death: Multiple Blunt Force Injuries

RIP MARCUS RAY CASSEL (January 6, 1983 – November 17, 2006)

The decedent was a football player who was a standout at UCLA. He died in an early-morning traffic accident in Santa Monica, according to his parents, Clyde and Joletta Cassel.

Cassel, who was on the injured reserve list of the Carolina Panthers, was involved in a one-vehicle accident in Santa Monica at approximately 5:15 am. The sport utility vehicles he was driving slammed into a tree in Palisades Park. Emergency responders needed to use the Jaws of Life to remove him from wreckage.

He was transported by Santa Monica Fire Department personnel to the emergency room of the UCLA Medical Center. Marcus passed away shortly after 9:30 am with his parents at his side.

Santa Monica police said the young man was driving his SUV at a high rate of speed west on Santa Monica Boulevard and failed to negotiate a left turn onto Ocean Avenue, sending his car into Palisades Park, where he truck a large palm tree.

The vehicle rolled over onto itself following the impact, coming to rest against a cement lamp post just a few feet from the edge of the bluff. Firefighters had to use tools to cut the back end of the roof off the car and remove Cassel, who was in critical condition. Once stabilized, Cassel was transported ot UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where he later died as a result of his injuries. No one else was in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Cassell had played football at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower. He played cornerback for the Bruins from 2002-2005 after redshirting in 2001. He started all 12 games as a senior, helping the Bruins to a record of 10-2. He earned his degree this past March.

“This is a tragic loss for Marcus’ family and our football program,” said UCLA head football coach Karl Dorrell. “No words can express the sorrow we feel at his passing.

“Marcus was a terrific, young man who was one of the most well-liked players in our program. He had a great smile and a wonderful personality and he combined them with a determination to be the best.

“As a senior last year, his leadership and performance was a key factor in our success on the field. He was still close to many of the players on this year’s team and this news has been tough on them.

“Our prayers are with Marcus and his family.”