Derrick Coleman, the Seattle Seahawks fullback, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of vehicular assault and hit-and-run, both felonies, and was suspended indefinitely by his NFL team.
The 24-year-old was booked into King County Jail in Seattle at 1:20 a.m. Thursday and held without bail pending Friday’s court hearing. According to Bellevue Police, Coleman’s speeding pickup truck crashed with the back of a car on Wednesday evening, causing the latter to land upside down on a grass embankment (as seen in tweet below).
Bellevue officers said they arrested Coleman because he escaped the scene of the accident. “Regardless of the reason why (he left), he has a duty to remain at the scene and provide certain information and render aid if he’s able to,” Officer Steve Mylett told reporters.
Eyewitnesses told officers that Coleman fled the scene after being helped out of his vehicle. Barely 10 minutes later, he was found arrested two blocks from the crash. While Coleman didn’t report any injuries, the other driver was hospitalized with serious, non-life-threatening injuries.
Steve Hayne, one of Coleman’s attorneys, stressed that his client had no intention to flee the scene. “He was in shock (after the accident). He didn’t go very far, and didn’t flee in any sense,” said Hayne.
Did Coleman fall asleep in his car? That’s what his agents suspect. They released the following statement: “On the evening of October 14, 2015, Seattle Seahawk Fullback Derrick Coleman, Jr. was involved in a two-car collision soon after leaving a team meeting,” reads the statement. “While the facts of the case are still being determined, it seems Derrick may have fallen asleep while driving home from a Seahawks’ facility.
“The health and well-being of all involved is our primary concern, and we are thankful to report that both parties are expected to make a full recovery. We will continue to work closely with the local officials while a full investigation is being conducted.”
— KING 5 Sports (@KING5Sports) October 15, 2015