Former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Eddie Griffin died last week when his sport utility vehicle collided with a freight train in a fiery crash, the Harris County medical examiner's office said Tuesday.
Investigators used dental records to identify Griffin, 25, who began his tumultuous pro career with the Houston Rockets in 2001. He was waived by the Timberwolves in March.
The five-year veteran, who was the No. 7 pick in the 2001 NBA draft, had battled alcohol problems since coming out of Seton Hall. Griffin was suspended by the league for five games in January for violating its anti-drug program.
Houston police said in a report that the driver of the SUV ignored a railroad warning and went through a barrier before striking the moving train about 1:30 a.m. Friday.
The driver's body was badly burned and there was no identification.
"I was able this afternoon to get some dental records from the one dentist he had gone to see in Houston, and they were able to use that apparently to positively identify him,'' said Derek S. Hollingsworth, an attorney who has represented Griffin in criminal cases.