TORONTO – Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke's youngest son was killed in a car accident in snowy Indiana on Friday.
The team issued a brief statement confirming the death of 21-year-old Brendan Burke. Brian Burke also is the general manager of the U.S. Olympic team.
"The National Hockey League grieves tonight for the family and friends of Brendan Burke, a young man of courage and character," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a release. "Words simply cannot express our sorrow over his loss. We send our deepest, most heartfelt condolences to Brendan's father, Brian; his mother, Kerry; everyone in Brendan's family and all who were inspired by his love for hockey."
Police told The Toronto Star that Burke was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee when the vehicle slid sideways into the path of a Ford truck. Burke's friend, 18-year-old Mark Reedy, also died in the accident.
U.S. Olympic Committee chairman Larry Probst said the USOC was "extremely saddened" by Burke's death.
"Our heart goes out to Brian and his family in this very difficult time," executive director of USA Hockey Dave Ogrean said. "We know the prayers of the entire hockey family, including our Olympic team, are with the Burke family."