DETROIT - The sister and cousin of former Sixers guard Willie Green were killed early yesterday when their sport utility vehicle veered off a Detroit area freeway and slammed into a tree.
The accident happened a few hours after the two had watched Green's New Orleans Hornets lose to the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Family members identified the victims as Tamara Green, 30, and Ben Green, 27, said Troy, Mich., police Lt. Robert Redmond.
The pair and other relatives had attended the game to watch Willie Green, a college star at the University of Detroit Mercy, play against his hometown team. They had stopped at a nearby restaurant after the game.
Ben Green was driving south on Interstate 75, about 15 miles north of Detroit, about 12:40 a.m.
"He lost control on the dry pavement and the car slid off the embankment area," Redmond said. "It went off the ground as the car flipped."
The GMC Envoy slammed roof-first into a tree. The driver's door was torn off and Ben Green was thrown out.
"The roof was totally crushed," Redmond said.
Both victims died at the scene.
There were no witnesses to the crash. A motorist noticed the Envoy in a ditch and called police, Redmond said.
Willie Green had left with the Hornets for Indianapolis, where they played the Indiana Pacers last night. He returned to Detroit when notified of the accident.
Ben Green earned his bachelor's degree in liberal studies in 2006 and also played basketball at the University of Detroit Mercy, seeing action in 115 games, the school said in a release. He averaged 6.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game his senior season.
"I feel pretty hurt," Willie Green Sr., father of Tamara and Willie, told the Detroit Free Press. "But I'm going to take solace in the same things we tell other folks going through other things like this: If God permits something like that to happen, say 'Amen' and move on. That's what I will use to cope."