MADISON – Tragedy struck the family of former Wisconsin running back James White on Sunday.
According to multiple reports, White’s parents were involved in an automobile accident in Cooper City, Florida, a few miles southwest of Fort Lauderdale.
His father, Tyrone, was killed. His mother, Lisa, was in critical condition.
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White, a Fort Lauderdale native, is in his seventh season with the New England Patriots. He was held out of the Patriots’ road game Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks.
Tyrone White, 59, was a captain with the Miami-Dade Police Department.
According to reports: Patriots owner Robert Kraft, after learning the news of the accident, offered to fly James White to Miami.
White, however, decided he would fly home with his teammates after the game.
James White played at UW from 2010 through ’13. He rushed for a combined 4,105 yards and 45 touchdowns and caught 73 passes for 670 yards and three scores.
Bret Bielema, White’s coach for three seasons, consistently lauded how well White’s parents had raised their son.
James White was named one of New England’s captains before the 2020 season.
Several of his former teammates at UW — Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, Denver running back Melvin Gordon, Houston defensive end J.J. Watt and Chris Borland — used Twitter to reach out to White.
White learned of the accident hours after he shared his thoughts on the passing of Msgr. Michael Burke, who served as the unofficial chaplain of the UW football team for more than four decades.
Burke, 72, passed away Saturday night in Madison.
“Rest In Peace Father Mike!” White wrote on Twitter. “You impacted so many lives in a positive way at Wisconsin!”
Before answering any questions in his post game interview, @DangeRussWilson needed to get a message to James White.
“James, I’m praying for you, man.” pic.twitter.com/ccpA5figDn
— Sunday Night Football (@SNFonNBC) September 21, 2020
With White out of the lineup, the Patriots suffered a 35-30 loss to Wilson and the Seahawks. Wilson, who played with White in 2011 at UW, passed for five touchdowns and 288 yards in the victory.
Speaking to NBC after the game, Wilson saluted White’s family.
“First of all, my heart is heavy because one of my teammates, James White from Wisconsin,” Wilson said, “one of the nicest guys, teammates, one of the hardest workers, one of the best people I know, had a tough one…
“My heart has been heavy all day thinking about him. Obviously the game was the game. This year has been a tough year as a whole. A lot of people that we know just going through so much.
“But James, I’m praying for you man if you can hear me.”
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Former UW tailback James White learns his father had died in an automobile accident and his mother is in critical condition