Death of Ex-NFL Star Randall Cunningham's Son Ruled Accidental - NBC New York

Death of Ex-NFL Star Randall Cunningham's Son Ruled Accidental



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    PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 27: Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Randall Cunningham holding his son Christian on the field at halftime during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 27, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles won 34-14. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

    The hot tub drowning death of Randall Cunningham's two-year-old son on Tuesday was an accident according to the coroner.

    Christian Cunningham was found floating in the hot tub, which is in the backyard of the Cunningham's Las Vegas home. The former Eagles quarterback -- now a pastor who runs Remnant Ministries -- uses the hot tub at times to perform baptisms for members of his tight-knit congregation, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

    A woman at Cunningham's Las Vegas home found Christian Tuesday afternoon. She got him out of the water immediately and started performing CPR. When paramedics got there, they rushed him to the hospital, but were not able to revive him.

    "It appears that it's just a complete tragedy," Lt. Dennis Flynn told Fox5 news. "It only takes a brief minute for someone to take their eye off the child."

    Randall was on his way home at the time from an out-of-town trip and had no idea what had happened until he got to the house. A police officer who was there when Randall got the news said Cunningham was "the strongest man I've ever met," according to Fox5 news.

    Members of the church Cunningham and his wife Felicity run, came together Tuesday night as the news spread, according to the Review-Journal, where reporter Mark Anderson writes:

    "We know healing is going to take time," said one church member, who said she goes by the name Miss Happy. "We ask that everyone pray for the family. It hurts. It hurts."

    Cunningham was believed to be in San Diego or on his way back at the time of the drowning.

    Members of the church congregation gathered that night and shared stories, prayed and cried. They talked about Christian learning to speak, playing football and constantly smiling and having fun.

    "He touched the lives of anybody who stood there and watched him," Miss Happy said. "He's one of those little kids like, 'I'll take you home with me.' I can sit here and talk all day about Christian."

    Cunningham left college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas when the Eagles drafted him in 1985. For 11 seasons he played for us. Randall went back and finished his degree 20 years later, according to Fox5. He walked in the graduation ceremony because he wanted to set an example for his children -- that it's important to finish your goals.