Sports star Todd Heap ran over and killed his young daughter in a tragic accident while driving his vehicle on Friday (14 April).

The incident occurred in the driveway of Heap's Phoenix home in the gated community of Las Sendas.

Mesa Police Department in Arizona confirmed that the former Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals player was involved in the fatal accident.

Detectives were told that the young girl was on the driveway when Heap moved the truck forward and hit her.

The three-year-old was taken to hospital but she was later pronounced dead.

The football player was not under the influence of alcohol with no signs of impairment and there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident, a police spokesman told ABC 15 Arizona. Police detectives are carrying out an investigation, reported the NFL.

While under contract with the Ravens, Heap's charitable foundation raised money to help sick and disadvantaged children. In 2010, the Todd Heap Family Pediatric Centre at Baltimore's Franklin Square Hospital was opened.

Heap was born in Mesa and attended Mountain View High School, where he showed great promised in football. He attended Arizona State University where he was a two-time All-Pac-10 selection.

He was a popular player with the Ravens during his 10 years in Baltimore and is still the team's all-time touchdown leader with 41.

He retired from the game in 2012 and was inducted into the Baltimore Ravens Ring of Honour in 2014, according to the Arizona Republic.

Heap and his wife Ashley have four children: daughter Brooklyn, born in 2002; twin boys Preston and Kyle, born in 2006; and Cade, born 2009. They had their youngest child, a daughter, in 2013, who was tragically killed in the driveway accident.