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RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Former New England Patriots player David Patten, Jr. was killed in a motorcycle crash in South Carolina on Thursday night.

Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford said Patten, 47, a former wide receiver for the Patriots, was killed in a motorcycle crash near Columbia around 9:45 p.m.

Lance Cpl. Nick Pye, with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, said there were three vehicles involved in the collision.

According to Pye, both a Honda van and Chevrolet sedan were traveling east when Patten, who was driving the motorcycle in the westbound lanes, went left of center and struck the Chevrolet.

The collision caused the Chevrolet to strike the Honda van. A driver and passenger in the van were wearing seatbelts and were not injured. The driver of the Chevrolet was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

“We are working with the South Carolina Highway Patrol to fully investigate this accident,” said Rutherford.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick released a statement on Patten’s passing, saying they are “heartbroken.”

Kraft said Patten was a “devout Christian who followed his passion,” noting that he founded a ministry.

Belichick said he is “grateful” to have been Patten’s coach. “He is an essential person and player in Patriots history, without whom we would not have been Super Bowl champions,” he said.

Sister station WJW reported that Patten played for several teams over his career, including the Cleveland Browns, where he was signed in 1999 and then again in 2009. He also played for the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints. He won three Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots.

Patten announced his retirement from the NFL in 2010.

Several of Patten’s former teammates remembered him on social media Friday.

Richard Seymour said he was “lost for words,” and Deion Branch called Patten a “Great Man, Mentor and Brother.”

Patten leaves behind his wife, Galiena.