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Patriots release Brandon Spikes as police probe car crash

A damaged and abandoned Mercedes-Benz Maybach registered to New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes.
A damaged and abandoned Mercedes-Benz Maybach registered to New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes.(Keith Bedford/Globe Staff)

State Police said Monday they are still trying to determine who was responsible for a crash over the weekend that sent three people to the hospital and coincided with the discovery of a damaged and abandoned Mercedes-Benz Maybach registered to ex-New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes.

“We have not established who was driving the Maybach or whether the Maybach hit the other car,’’ State Police spokesman David Procopio said Monday. “The investigation is ongoing.”

The Patriots on Monday released Spikes, the team said. Spikes played for the Patriots from 2010, when he was drafted in the second round out of Florida, through the 2013 season, then joined the Buffalo Bills for a year in 2014.

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He returned to the Patriots in May on a one-year deal that would have been worth up to $2 million.

State Police said they were notified at about 3:20 a.m. that a 2011 Maybach had been abandoned in the median strip of Interstate 495 in Foxborough. A Mercedes roadside assistance service operator contacted State Police, telling them the driver of the Maybach reported hitting a deer, State Police said.

Around the same time, the occupants of a Nissan Murano reported to State Police that they had been rear-ended by an unidentified vehicle. The occupants — a 51-year-old man, a 32-year-old woman, and a 12-year-old boy, all of Billerica — were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, State Police have said.

No charges have been filed against anyone, Procopio said Monday.

Procopio said troopers on Monday inspected both vehicles and also examined a “relevant” stretch of highway on Route 495 northbound, including “marks on the roadway left by the Maybach.”

“It would be inaccurate, at this point, to say with certainty that there will be charges,’’ Procopio said. “The investigation is seeking to determine whether the Maybach was the car that hit the Nissan Murano and, if not, what car did hit the Murano.’’

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Marc Breakstone, a lawyer for the occupants of the Murano, said his clients did not see the vehicle that struck them. He said there is “overwhelming” evidence that that vehicle was the Mercedes registered to Spikes.

The car that struck his clients, Breakstone said, was probably traveling at least 80 to 85 miles per hour.

He said his clients’ vehicle was traveling 60 m.p.h. and “was hit with enough force squarely on the rear to cause [the] driver’s seat and the passenger front seat to be thrown fully back into the prone position.”

Breakstone said the driver of the Murano, his client Sheida Foroutani, is certain that the other vehicle did not have its headlights on, since the road was empty at the time of the crash.

“She never saw headlights coming up from behind,” he said.

Breakstone said Foroutani and her husband, Sam Lashgari, had checked into a Falmouth hotel for a vacation with their severely autistic child. The family decided to leave the hotel at about 2 a.m. after the boy had difficulty in the room, according to Breakstone. He declined to name the child.

He would not provide details about the extent of his clients’ injuries, saying only that their injuries were not life-threatening, and that they returned home after being examined at a hospital.

“They want their normal lives back,” Breakstone said. “They want their good health and their comfortable state of mind. ... They’re alarmed, first, that they could have been killed. They’re alarmed that it may have been an NFL player behind the wheel, and they would just [prefer to] not be in the spotlight and just have a return to normalcy.”

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Breakstone said he has had no contact with State Police regarding the crash and decried the actions of whoever rear-ended his clients’ vehicle.

“It is an extraordinary act of negligence for one vehicle to strike another vehicle that’s traveling 60 miles an hour on the highway,” he said. “I suspect that whatever that driver was under the influence of is the reason that the driver left the scene.”

State Police have not said whether they believe drugs or alcohol were factors in the accident.

During Spikes’ first training camp with New England, he was connected to a sex tape that surfaced in the media. Then he was suspended four games at the end of his rookie season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

A frequent presence on social media, he has posted several controversial tweets. After signing with the Bills, he referred to his time in New England as “four years a slave,” and boasted of his eagerness to face the Patriots and play a role in defeating them.

A photo on a tweet he posted over the weekend shows him with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at an unspecified event. “Good time last night with the Goat !!” he apparently wrote in the tweet, which was time-stamped at 1:20 p.m. Saturday.

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During the 2013 playoffs, he was late to a practice because his car was snowed in (he posted a photo of his car on Twitter that day). Though he had played much of the season with a knee ligament injury, the Patriots placed Spikes on season-ending injured reserve not long after his snow day.

Spikes, through his agent, Gary Uberstine, disputed the need to go on injured reserve, and not long after, Spikes was allowed to leave as a free agent.


John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.