Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Stallworth says he flashed headlights
MIAMI -- Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth said he flashed his car's headlights to warn a pedestrian before fatally striking a man in Miami Beach last month, according to a report released by police.
The report released Tuesday also said the pedestrian, 59-year-old Mario Reyes, wasn't in a crosswalk when Stallworth's Bentley hit him.
According to the report, Stallworth told officers he flashed his lights to try to warn Reyes, a construction crane operator who was rushing to catch a bus after getting off work around 7:15 a.m. March 14.
Police said Stallworth was driving about 50 mph in a 40 mph zone. They are investigating whether alcohol played a role in the accident. No charges have been filed against Stallworth pending the outcome of blood tests.
A police diagram shows that Reyes was hit in the far left lane of the six-lane MacArthur Causeway -- not in a nearby crosswalk. Stallworth stopped a few feet away.
Police also released calls from three people who dialed 911 that morning.
The first, a woman, said, "There's a man laying in the middle of the road." The dispatcher asked for her location and a description of the victim.
Then the woman blurted: "He's dead. He's dead ... He was just laying in the middle of the road. I think he's dead."
When the dispatcher asked what happened, the woman said, "I don't know, I don't know, he's just lying in the middle of the road."
None of the callers apparently witnessed the accident. One man, saying he was on his way to work, said he "heard a hit" and then saw Reyes lying in the roadway. A few moments later, a police officer arrived.
Stallworth's attorney declined comment Tuesday but has said his client is cooperating with police. Stallworth last week released a statement saying he was "grief stricken" over the accident.
Stallworth signed a seven-year, $35 million contract with the Browns before last season but was injured most of the year. He was scheduled to receive a $4.75 million signing bonus the day before the accident. Before that, he played for New England, Philadelphia and New Orleans in the NFL and in college for Tennessee.