Lew Bush, former Chargers linebacker, Bird Rock restaurant owner, dies of heart attack


City News Service

Former Chargers linebacker Lew Bush, who owned a barbecue restaurant in Bird Rock named Sweet Lew’s (now Bird Rock Surf Shop) in the late ‘90s before being traded to the rival Kansas City Chiefs in 2000, died Thursday, Dec. 8 of an apparent heart attack, six days after his 42nd birthday.

Bush was a fourth-round pick in 1993 and played the next seven seasons for the Chargers. He spent three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs before retiring from the NFL.

A Chargers spokesman said Bush lived in San Diego but apparently died in Tucson.

Bush is the seventh player from the Chargers’ 1994 Super Bowl team to die before turning 45, and the second this year, following defensive lineman Shawn Lee, who was 44 when he passed away Feb. 26 of cardiac arrest (after suffering for years from diabetes).

The first to die was 28-year-old linebacker David Griggs, killed in a car crash in June 1995 followed by running back Rodney Culver, who was 26 when he perished in a 1996 plane crash. Linebacker Doug Miller, 28, died in 1998. Curtis Whitley, who’d been released by the Chargers in ’94, died of a drug overdose in 2008 at age 39. Defensive lineman Chris Mims was 38 when he died in 2008 of an enlarged heart.

The Chargers coach during their only Super Bowl appearance, 74-year-old Bobby Ross is alive and resides in Richmond, Va.