Derrick Coleman’s Ram pickup truck was traveling at 60 mph on a Bellevue arterial when he struck another car, according to information released Friday by the Bellevue Police Department, which has been attacked by Coleman’s attorneys for its handling of the case.
Seattle Seahawk Derrick Coleman’s truck was traveling 60 mph on a Bellevue road when it struck another car in October, according to his truck’s data recorder.
The crash left the other driver with a concussion and broken collar bone, and Coleman facing possible criminal charges.
Bellevue police Friday took the unusual step of releasing another 170 pages of investigation documents, including data from Coleman’s 2015 Dodge Ram truck’s “black box” as well as dozens of photos and videos showing a virtually crushed rear end of the Honda Civic that Coleman struck, forcing it up an embankment before it flipped over.
In addition to Coleman’s speed, the data recorder shows that the truck’s brakes weren’t activated during the collision and that the accelerator pedal “was depressed at 100 percent for the majority of the four seconds after the initial collision,” according to the police report.
One of Coleman’s attorneys, Jon Fox, said Friday that he had just received a disk of the documents and hadn’t had a chance to review them.
“I’m asking for everybody to keep an open mind,” Fox said.
The document release comes at the end of a week in which Coleman’s attorneys mounted an increasingly public attack on the Bellevue Police Department’s handling of the case and the initial release, 10 days ago, of a 101-page investigation report before any charges had been filed.
Another of Coleman’s attorneys, Diego Vargas, appeared twice on 710 ESPN radio this week to argue that Coleman also suffered a concussion in the accident and lost his hearing aid, both factors that left him disoriented and frightened.
Vargas said Coleman did not knowingly leave the accident scene. He also disputed that Coleman had been impaired at the time of the collision, noting that two toxicology tests were negative for synthetic marijuana. Coleman’s blood was drawn six hours after the crash.
“The Bellevue Police Department is waging a very aggressive media campaign against our client,” Vargas said Friday.
Coleman told officers who interviewed him at the scene that he had smoked “spice,” a synthetic marijuana, about an hour before the collision. Police found an opened plastic packet labeled “F’d up” and two unopened packets labeled “Mad Pitbulls” in the truck’s cab.
A toxicology report confirmed that the substances were synthetic marijuana, but also said that neither is illegal under Washington drug classifications.
Police say that in addition to traveling at high speed in the 35-mph zone, Coleman was shifting lanes erratically before the crash and ran from the scene, despite witnesses telling him to stay.
A day after the crash, the defense team posted a video on YouTube in which Coleman, at the police station several hours after the crash, appears calm and denies having used any drugs or alcohol before driving that night.
The police investigation report was referred to prosecutors on Jan. 25, with a recommendation that Coleman be charged with felony hit and run and vehicular assault. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is still reviewing the case, said spokesman Dan Donohoe.
The defense attorneys have been sharply critical of Bellevue Police Chief Stephen Mylett’s decision to release the initial investigation report and to hold a news conference to answer questions.
Mylett cited state public-records laws that require police to release investigative records if a case has been referred to a prosecutor for a charging decision. The State Supreme Court in 2010 affirmed that police records are public and may not be withheld, even in the face of claims that disclosure threatens the suspect’s right to a fair trial.
Most Read Stories
- Sexless marriage worries husband | Dear Carolyn
- For $750, Seattle’s newest apartment is the size of a parking space
- Live updates on Seattle-area snowfall: Schools delayed, canceled as snow turns to rain VIEW
- Look: Washington Crew uses Husky Stadium snow to send a message about UW football vs. Alabama
- Where did the most snow fall? Here are totals from around Western Washington
Coleman became a fan favorite during the Seahawks’ 2013 run to the Super Bowl with an inspirational story of having overcome a hearing impairment to emerge as the team’s starting fullback and a key special-teams player.
Coleman, who turned 25 four days after the accident, lost most of his hearing around the age of 3 and uses hearing aids. His autobiography, “No Excuses,’’ detailing his journey to the NFL, was published last summer.
Coleman finished his third full season with the Seahawks this year and is now a restricted free agent. That means that if the Seahawks give a qualifying offer, the team can match any other offer he would get, or receive compensation if he signs with another team.
Coleman was initially suspended by the Seahawks following the accident and sat out a game against Carolina on Oct. 18 as a result. He then was inactive the following week with the concussion suffered in the accident.