Former NBA Player Eddie Griffin Dies in Collision With Train

By Erik Matuszewski

Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Eddie Griffin, who played five seasons in the National Basketball Association, died last week when the sports-utility vehicle he was driving collided with a moving train in Houston, authorities said. He was 25.

Dental comparisons were used today to identify Griffin, whose body was badly burned in the crash, Jennifer Coston, deputy chief of investigations at the Harris County, Texas, medical examiner's office, said in a telephone interview.

Griffin disregarded a warning signal, drove through a railroad arm and struck the side of a moving freight train on Aug. 17, according to a news release from the Houston Police Department. Griffin's vehicle was consumed by flames, and he died at the scene.

The 6-foot-10 Griffin spent last season with the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves, playing in 13 games as a reserve and averaging 1.4 points and 1.9 rebounds. He received a five-game suspension from the league in January for violating the NBA's anti-drug program.

Griffin had off-court problems since joining the NBA as a first-round pick in the 2001 draft out of Seton Hall University. He spent time at an alcohol-treatment center in 2003-04, was convicted of marijuana possession in January 2004, and got suspended for the first three games of the 2004-05 NBA season after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.

Griffin, who spent his first two NBA seasons with the Houston Rockets and New Jersey Nets, was released by the Timberwolves in March.