Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Cops: Ndamukong Suh case closed
ESPN.com news services
In a 911 call soon after his car hit a tree in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, Ndamukong Suh said "everybody's fine." But now, two passengers now claim they were injured in the accident.
Portland police had originally said there were no injuries, but they said Monday that two passengers later came forward to say they were hurt and left the scene before officers arrived.
Sgt. Pete Simpson says one woman reported bruises and soreness, and the other reported a cut to her forehead and a black eye. Their names were not released.
Police say Suh was not impaired and was not cited, and that they are not re-opening the investigation.
"At no point did anyone there tell an officer that (Suh) was driving out of control," Simpson told KGW-TV. "The crash doesn't meet our threshold for investigation, which is vulnerable road user, DUI, or serious trauma injury."
The amended police report, according to KGW-TV, now says that one person was seriously injured in the crash and that there were four people in the car, not three as had been noted in the original report.
One of the women in the vehicle is quoted in the police report as saying she told Suh that she needed medical attention. She said Suh refused her request and told her she was fine. She then walked down the street and had her husband pick her up and take her to a hospital.
The Detroit Lions defensive tackle was calm and polite during the phone call to emergency services. When asked by the 911 operator if he needed an ambulance, Suh said: "No, I don't think so. I think everybody's fine."
Later in the call, which lasted 1 minute, 15 seconds, Suh was asked again if he was sure he didn't need an ambulance. "Yes, everybody's fine," he replied.
Suh had returned from the Pac-12 championship game in Eugene on Friday night when the accident occurred at 1:14 a.m. on Saturday. Suh told police he was trying to avoid a stopped taxi cab when he lost control of the 1970 Chevrolet Coupe. The car hit a curb, light pole, drinking fountain and tree.
"When the light turned green, he floored it," one of the passengers told KGW-TV. "I just remember going so fast and it was violent, and just getting thrown around like rag dolls."
No witnesses reported any victims or said that Suh was driving recklessly.
Attempts by The Associated Press to reach the two women for comment on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Suh has not responded to repeated requests for interviews about his suspension and the accident.
An NFL spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press that the league was aware of Suh's accident but wouldn't say whether the incident was under investigation.
In his weekly radio appearance on WXYT-FM in Detroit, Lions coach Jim Schwartz downplayed concern about the conflicting reports coming out about the accident.
"How guys drive and things like that, there hasn't been anything that's been -- let's worry about him on the field," Schwartz said, according to the Free Press. "Ndamukong's a hard-working guy, he hasn't had any kind of issues with the law, including this one. Let's worry about him on the field and those things, get him back playing well. I think that he's under a microscope, but that's too much of a microscope."
Suh currently is serving a two-game suspension for stomping an opponent during a loss to the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving. He missed the Lions' loss Sunday night to the New Orleans Saints and also will miss Detroit's Week 14 game against the Minnesota Vikings.
When Suh played at Nebraska he pleaded guilty to negligent driving and paid a $60 fine after crashing into three parked cars.
Suh, driving his mother's SUV, said he had swerved to avoid a cat. He also paid $48 in court costs and was disciplined by Huskers coach Bo Pelini.
He was drafted by the Lions with the second overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Suh has endorsement deals with Chrysler, Subway and Nike, among other companies.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.