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Brother of NBA star Stoudemire dies in Lake Wales wreck

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Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 01:41 PM

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The older brother of New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire died early today when his car rear-ended a tractor-trailer on U.S. 27 in Lake Wales, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Hazell Stoudemire Jr., 35, of Lakeland, was driving a Cadillac Escalade north on U.S. 27, south of County Road 17A, at a high rate of speed behind the semitrailer about 1:45 a.m., the highway patrol said in a news release.

The Cadillac then collided with the rear of trailer, the patrol said.

Stoudemire, who was not wearing a seat belt, died at the scene, the patrol said.

The 2004 Freightliner semitrailer was driven by Rupert A. Fairclough, 58, of Auburndale. He was not injured, the patrol said.

The Knicks said Amar'e Stoudemire was headed to Florida to be with his family and would not play tonight against the Utah Jazz.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Stoudemire family for their loss," the team wrote on Twitter this morning.

Amar'e Stoudemire, 29, a Lake Wales native and former Mr. Florida Basketball, graduated from Orlando's Cypress Creek High School before going to the NBA.

The crash remains under investigation.

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