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Police: No charges against ex-NFL star for driving car off cliff

From Rick Martin, CNN
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Exclusive video from Seau's wreck scene
  • Police say drugs, alcohol not a factor in crash
  • Seau "fell asleep at the wheel," police say
  • He still faces a domestic violence charge
  • He retired in January after 20 years in the NFL

(CNN) -- Police do not intend to charge former NFL linebacker Junior Seau for driving his car off a cliff.

Police in Carlsbad, California, said Monday night that drugs or alcohol were not a factor in the incident.

"It appears Mr. Junior Seau was tired and fell asleep at the wheel," said Lt. Bruce May.

Seau, however, still faces a domestic violence charge.

Just hours before he drove his car off the cliff in Carlsbad early Monday morning, he was arrested on a domestic violence charge in Oceanside, California.

The domestic violence incident began when Oceanside police were called to Seau's residence to investigate a report of an assault late Sunday night, police said. The alleged victim is Seau's 25-year-old live-in girlfriend, who had minor injuries that didn't require medical treatment.

Video: Police: NFL great drives off cliff

The girlfriend told police that Seau assaulted her during a verbal argument, authorities said. Seau wasn't at the residence when the police arrived, but he later agreed to return home after he called his girlfriend and spoke to officers on the scene, police said.

Seau drove home and was arrested at 12:20 a.m. Monday on the charge of spousal assault with injury, police said. He was released on bail, police said.

Some time later Monday morning, Seau drove his white Cadillac SUV off a cliff and landed on the beach at Carlsbad, police said.

Seau was conscious and talking to paramedics when he was taken to a hospital.

Carlsbad is 35 miles north of San Diego, California, where Seau played most of his career.

Drafted into the NFL in the first round in 1990 out of the University of Southern California, Seau debuted with the San Diego Chargers, establishing his Hall of Fame potential as a Pro Bowl staple.

He left San Diego before the 2003 season to join the Miami Dolphins and spent parts of the last four seasons with the New England Patriots before retiring in January. Seau amassed 1,526 tackles, 56.5 sacks and 18 interceptions in his 20-season career.

CNN's Michael Martinez, Sara Pratley and Greg Botelho contributed to this report.