Former Oregon LB Fotu Leiato Dies in Car Crash at Age 22

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2018

Oregon safety Fotu T. Leiato II (19) in the first half during an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Former Oregon Ducks linebacker Fotu Leiato died at the age of 22 on Friday after he was a passenger in a single-car crash. 

ESPN's Mark Schlabach provided the police statement, which said the crash happened near Oregon's Autzen Stadium around 5:31 a.m. on Friday.

Via Schlabach, the driver, Pedro Chavarin Jr., initially told police that he was the only person in the vehicle. He was taken to a hospital and cited for DUI.

It wasn't until about four hours later that Leiato was discovered, when a woman walking near the scene of the crash "spotted a hand and brush over a person down a gravel path." 

Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal and athletic director Rob Mullens issued a statement on the death of the former Ducks player, per Tyson Alger of The Oregonian: "We are saddened to learn of the passing of Fotu, and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time. He will be remembered and missed by all who knew him."

Leiato played three seasons for Oregon. After arriving on campus as a linebacker, the 5'11", 198-pound Leiato got involved on special teams as a true freshman and ultimately shifted to safety as a sophomore. Last season, he had 14 total tackles, including one for a loss, as well as one pass defended.

Leiato was dismissed from the team last month following his second arrest of the year. A January arrest on a misdemeanor trespassing charge was followed by separate theft, criminal trespassing and criminal charges in April.

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