David Patten, an ex-New England Patriots player, has died in a tragic accident. He was 47.

News about David Patten's death emerged after authorities confirmed that the athlete was involved in a motorcycle crash on Thursday.

Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford confirmed that the traffic incident happened outside Columbia, South Carolina, per ESPN.

Meanwhile, South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Nick Pye disclosed that a motorcycle driver - who happened to be Patten - crossed the median of the highway at around 9:45 p.m. This caused him to crash himself into a Chevrolet Sedan before the car sideswiped a Honda.

Following the collision, one of the cars' drivers was rushed to a hospital due to undisclosed injuries.

Patten, however, was pronounced dead on the scene.

Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft released a statement to honor their former player, calling Patten a devout Christian who played and preached at the same time.

"David transitioned from an undersized and understated wide receiver to a powerful and passionate preacher. In New England, he will always be remembered as a three-time Super Bowl Champion," he said.

The New England Patriots coach, Bill Belichick, sent his deepest condolences to the bereaved family and acknowledge how the team would not have been Super Bowl Champions if it was not because of him.

"I am grateful to have coached David. He is an essential person and player in Patriots history, without whom we would not have been Super Bowl Champions. I especially appreciate David for his professional journey," he continued.

David Patten's NFL Journey

Before his death, Patten became part of five different teams throughout his 12-year NFL career. But his stint with the Patriots for four seasons - from 2001 to 2004 - became the most memorable one.

For what it's worth, he played a huge role in helping the team reached its first Super Bowl win during the 2001 season. He made an 11-yard touchdown from Drew Bledsoe, pushing the Patriots' 24-17 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Patten ended his career in 2010 during Patriots training camp. At that time, he revealed that playing for Patriots was the highlight of his career.

His former teammates - Richard Seymour, Deion Branch - and former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis also paid tribute to him.

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