#Todd Heap and his family are undergoing a harrowing and unimaginable tragedy. What once seemed like a simple chore to move a family truck turned into the worst days in their collective lives, as it resulted in the death of Heap's three-year old daughter. Investigations are underway and questions will be asked in the coming days about liability and prevention. For the time being, though, privacy and respect should still be granted to Heap and his family, even if he's at fault.
Police responded to a report of a car-pedestrian accident on Friday afternoon in Mesa, Arizona.
In a gated complex, Todd Heap was trying to move his car forward in the driveway. In all likelihood, he didn't see his three-year old daughter in front of the car, or she darted out in front of the vehicle before the #NFL alum had a chance to react. Either way, the moving car hit the little girl, who could not be saved after being rushed to the hospital.
After the incident, his former teams, the #Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals, both sent heartfelt condolences to him and his family. Meanwhile, officials claimed that Heap did not appear to be impaired in any way. More time will be needed to confirm that, but at the moment, it appears like nothing more than a terrible mistake that took a young child's life and forever changed the Heap family..
Don't kick a man while he's down
In a world full of instant reaction on social media and comments in articles, people are willing to pay good money to see Heap go to jail forever - he's responsible for the death of his own child, after all. But all indications suggest that this was an accident. By all accounts, Heap loves his children and wouldn't do anything to harm them. What happened on Friday tragically ended one life - it doesn't need to end a second one as well.
Right now, he and his family deserve privacy and respect, regardless of the tight end's previous level of fame. Nobody should have to contend with the loss of a child in the public limelight; they are going to struggle enough in their private home to consider how this could have prevented and how to move forward as a family, with Heap set for many sleepless nights, perhaps for the rest of his life. He's in the conversation today because he is a former pro athlete and national figure - tomorrow the conversation should be about something else, allowing Heap and his family to begin the long process of coping and healing.