There But For The Grace Of God ……..

Death when it comes to someone so young, is often seen as a tragedy , dependent upon how that life is lost. And the loss of a life is never an easy one to take . Not for the family of the victim or for their friends and acquaintances.

Bengals' wide receiver   Chris  Henry  , seen  here  with  one  of  his  three   young   children at  the   doorstep  of   his  home.   picture   comes courtesy of  wcpo.com Channel 9- Cincinnati ,Ohio .
Bengals' wide receiver Chris Henry , seen here with one of his three young children at the doorstep of his home. picture comes courtesy of wcpo.com Channel 9- Cincinnati ,Ohio .


Well, as many of you will no doubt will be hearing or have read, the life of Cincinnati Bengals’ wide receiver, Chris Henry was lost due to an unforeseen accident. Henry and his fiancee’ , the mother of his three young children had been involved in an altercation, which ended up being a domestic incident. The player is said to have fallen from the back of a pickup truck that his fiancee’ is said to have been driving. His body was found lying unconscious in the road. But it hasn’t yet been established as whether not the driver of the vehicle remained at the scene of the incident or called 911.

Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver Chris Henry (15), hauls in a touchdown against New England Patriots cornerback Terrence Wheatley, left, during their preseason NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009.  picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/ Charles  Krupa  ........
Cincinnati Bengals' wide receiver Chris Henry (15), hauls in a touchdown against New England Patriots cornerback Terrence Wheatley, left, during their preseason NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Charles Krupa ........

Courtesy of NFL.com and the Associated Press

Bengals’ Henry dies day after dispute

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry has died, one day after falling out of the back of a pickup truck in what authorities described as a domestic dispute with his fiancee.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Henry died at 6:36 a.m. Thursday. Henry was 26.

Henry was rushed to the hospital Wednesday after being found on a residential road. Police said the dispute began at a home about a half-mile away, and Henry jumped into the bed of the pickup truck as his fiancee was driving away from the residence.

Police said at some point when she was driving, Henry “came out of the back of the vehicle.” They wouldn’t identify the woman, and no charges were immediately filed.

Police spokeswoman Rosalyn Harrington said homicide detectives have been assigned to the case but had no further information. Police have not released the 911 tapes, and Harrington wouldn’t say if the woman was present at the scene when police arrived.

Henry is engaged to Loleini Tonga, and the couple has been raising three children. Tonga’s MySpace page identifies herself as “Mrs. C. Henry” and has a picture of her next to a person who appears to be Henry. She also has a post from Tuesday talking about buying wedding rings. A neighbor said Wednesday that the Tonga family owns the home where police say the incident began. Charlotte is home to his fiancee’s parents.

Henry was away from the team after breaking his left forearm during a win over Baltimore on Nov. 8. He had surgery and was placed on injured reserve.

He caught a touchdown pass in each of Cincinnati’s four preseason games. A thigh injury slowed him early in the season, and he had 12 catches for 236 yards – his 19.7-yard average per catch leads the team – when he broke his left arm during a win over Baltimore on Oct. 11, ending his season.

When he showed up in the locker room for the first time since surgery to fix the fracture, Henry sounded confident he could get through the latest setback.

“It just comes with time, you know?” he said. “I learned to handle all situations, so I’ll be all right.”

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a football game in Cincinnati, in this Dec. 31, 2006 . picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ David Kohl  ...............
Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a football game in Cincinnati, in this Dec. 31, 2006 . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ David Kohl ...............

As to whether or not this tragedy could have been avoided is open to mere speculation and not much else. But the scene surrounding this incident gives us no real insight as to how this event just happened to have taken a turn for the worse. One thing however we are sure of, it is that this family has now been left without a father , a companion and a teammate to the members of the Cincinnati Bengals’ roster. And for those teammates, this must come as something of a shock to them all.

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Emotional Bengals take Henry’s death hard

By Joe Kay, AP Sports Writer

Cincinnati, Oh,. (AP)—Teary Cincinnati Bengals players held a somber practice and dedicated the rest of their season to receiver Chris Henry after hearing that he’d died a day after falling out of the back of a pickup truck during what police described as a domestic dispute.

Receiver Chad Ochocinco sniffled and blinked back tears, saying he didn’t see how “Chris was supposed to go already.” Henry died early Thursday at a hospital in Charlotte, N.C.

Ochocinco wore Henry’s white No. 15 practice jersey to an afternoon workout that was subdued—no joking, no laughing. The Bengals (9-4) can clinch the AFC North title with a victory on Sunday in San Diego.

Quarterback Carson Palmer says the team should dedicate the season to Henry and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer’s wife, who died in October.

====================================================

Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry (15) is congratulated by the team mascot after scoring a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2006, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/David Kohl
Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry (15) is congratulated by the team mascot after scoring a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2006, in Cincinnati. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ David Kohl .......

And for the Cincinnati Bengals this tragedy only casts something of a blight on the team that was said to be having a resurgent season. At (9-4) within the AFC North where they lead the Baltimore Ravens (7-4) by two games – Pittsburgh Steelers (6-7) and the low struggling Cleveland Browns (2-11). The aftershock of Henry’s death will be widespread and will be felt not only within the division but across the entire NFL. While it is never good to lose one of their own , no matter under what the circumstances may well happen to be. The loss of Chris Henry here at this juncture, will lead to the players around the league to take a look at their own mortality as well as their well being.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry carries the ball during the NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009 in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry carries the ball during the NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009 in Baltimore. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Nick Wass .......

Chris Henry’s five years within the NFL hasn’t been without incident. His own personal run ins with law enforcement has been numerous to warrant his suspension by the NFL , as well as his infraction of the league’s conduct and drug enforcement policies. And when one looks back at the Bengals as recently as between 2006 through 2008. One has to wonder whether not the internal turmoil within the organization couldn’t all have been avoided. Coach,Marvin Lewis, essentially let things foment within the organization and merely took a laissez-faire approach to it all, concerning his players. And on more than one occasion it has to be said it looked as if the lunatics were indeed running the asylum, there in Cincinnati. The police blotter came to read like a who’s who with regard to the Bengals’ roster and the number of players that were said to have had trouble with the law enforcement , on a varying number of wide ranging incidents. Some of which were serious enough to make one wonder whether not it was time for Commissioner, Roger Goodell to intervene in some way , shape or form. He’d done so but it still hadn’t stem the tide of wayward behavior by the Bengals’ players. And somehow, Goodell seem to be besides himself in not wanting impose some sort of a stiffer penalty upon the organization. In order to make an example to the other NFL franchises around the league. If only to show them that sort of behavior will not be tolerated around the league.

Henry seen here is being scolded by Circuit Court Judge , Douglas Grothaus. The player was charged with the solicitation of a minor for sex and serving them alcohol. Needless to say, the justice system failed us once again !

It is has often been said that the commissioner tends to pick and choose the battles he intends to want to win , in order to seek media attention. Rather than somehow, acting to the benefit and in the best interests of the game. Make of it what you will but his actions over the years, is there for all to bear witness to.

Chris Henry , his  fiancee, Loleini  Tonga  and  their  three  young  children,  DeMarcus , 10 months,  Seini ,  3 and  Chris  Jr, aged  2.    picture   appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ The  Enquirer /  Jeff  Swinger  ........................
Chris Henry , his fiancee, Loleini Tonga and their three young children, DeMarcus , 10 months, Seini , 3 and Chris Jr, age 2. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ The Enquirer / Jeff Swinger ........................

Now as the Bengals’ fans and the entire league mourns the loss of the player under such tragic circumstances. One could ask whether or not this could have been avoided ? It’d appear that whatever took place between Henry and his fiancee’ , Loleini Tonga, got completely out of hand, leading to this unfortunate tragedy. A loss of this nature hasn’t been felt within the NFL, since the untimely death of former Washington Redskins’ safety , Sean Taylor. His death came as an act of wantoned violence, at the hands of his assailants who were known to Taylor. Though comparisons to an extent can be made , as in each case there has been a loss of life . As to whether or not Henry’s death will be viewed as an act of violence. We can only wait to see what course the investigation will take as to the circumstances surrounding his death. Criminal charges could very well be filed but that is open to mere speculation and the discretion of the agency undertaking the investigation. Once their findings have been filed then it will be down to the district attorney’s office to make a recommendation as to how they will proceed.

In this Aug. 2009 photo, Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry is pictured at Bengals training camp at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky. with his girlfriend Loleini Tonga and their three children. Police say Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry suffered serious injuries Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 after falling out of the back of a pickup truck during a domestic dispute with his fiancee Tonga. picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/Dayton Daily News/ Barry D. Scheffel  .........  (mandatory credit)
In this Aug. 2009 photo, Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry is pictured at Bengals training camp at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky. with his girlfriend Loleini Tonga and their three children. Police say Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry suffered serious injuries Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 after falling out of the back of a pickup truck during a domestic dispute with his fiancee Tonga. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Dayton Daily News/ Barry D. Scheffel ......... (mandatory credit)

This season for the Cincinnati Bengals had started out so bright and there was a belief that with the team’s resurgence , something special could very well be in the making. Now the entire organization is at a loss to explain this event as they mourn the loss Chris Henry. As to what the future holds for this team as the regular seasons winds down. One can only pass on our condolences to the Chris Henry’s family and that of the entire Bengals’ organization and its entire fan-base. Theirs is a tragedy that no one would want to go through. And there but the grace of God, life as we know it, must go on.

20 thoughts on “There But For The Grace Of God ……..

  1. Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
    their lives change but do not end.
    I pray in hope for his family,
    relatives and friends,
    and for all the dead known to You alone.
    Amen

    Like

    1. aero

      I can’t help but wonder what transpired between Henry and his fiancee’ for his life to have ended in such an unfortunate way. It apparently wasn’t Loleini Tonga (fiancee’) who made the 911 call but an eye witness who was allegedly traveling behind the pickup truck that Henry was in. So what I’m now asking myself were the immediate actions afterwards of Henry’s fiancee ? Did she stop to provide assistance or simply drove off leaving Henry to writhe on the ground in pain and then succumb to an untimely death ? Either way you look at it her actions and perhaps to a lesser extent Henry’s was all somewhat avoidable.

      Crazily enough could this have been eerily similar as to the encounter between Tiger and his soon to be estranged wife ?

      Alan Parkins

      Like

    1. Chris Humpherys

      Weird isn’t half of it. And by all accounts he’d turned his life around. But obviously it’d appear that he still had a few inner hidden demons. How else can one explain this saga ? Eerily reminiscent of the ‘McNair incident’ but without a suicide as part of it all.

      It looks as if Henry’s fiancee’ Loelini Tonga could be charged with something at the end of the day. Law enforcement as such have their homicide detectives investigating the incident.

      Alan Parkins

      Like

      1. Ravenation LLC

        The problem I have with this is the actions thereafter by the girlfriend. When she realized he’d fallen out of the back of the truck don’t tell me should couldn’t have called 911. It’s the least she could’ve done .

        🙂

        Alan …………….

        🙂

        Like

    1. Mean Dovine

      My homie how’s it hangin bro ? Don’t be a stranger man , I know you’re up to your eyeballs , with it all. What with family , no doubt and the studies. As always you’re a welcomed guest in tophatal’s arcade of stories. Your views are always an insight.

      The sad part of this all , is that a young family is now left without a father , and quite possibly they’ll also be without their mother. Especially if the chain of events and the incident is anything to go by. Henry’s fiancee fled the scene it’d appear and didn’t provided any form assistance to her fiance .
      That’s what is so messed also about this all !

      Alan Parkins

      Like

    1. chappy 81

      It might all be speculative but his fiancee’s actions still leaves a lot to be desired. If this was indeed an accident then why didn’t she remain to provide some sort of comfort to Chris Henry ? Instead of just leaving him there lying unconscious in the street writhing in pain.

      Law enforcement now have homicide detectives investigating ‘the chain of events’. It may well take a few weeks before we’re given the results of their findings. Another life lost far too soon.

      Alan Parkins

      Like

      1. Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. Why didn’t she stop immediately. It’s not like it would take a lot for her to notice he fell out if he was indeed banging on the back window of the truck!

        Like

  2. chappy 81

    You ought to know if a woman is on her menstrual cycle, the last thing any guy wants to do, is to pi_s her off. By all accounts the ‘so called eye witness’ states that Henry was remonstrating with the driver and supposedly making idle threats about killing himself ? What the hell ? For those people who allegedly thought that he was turning his life around then this has got to come as a surprise to them all.

    On another note Henry is extremely lucky that he’s not doing time behind bars or for that been registered as a sex offender. He came within an inch of his teeth on the matter when he faced the judge at his hearing for trying to elicit a minor for sex as well as serving her alcohol.

    Alan Parkins

    Like

  3. What the fuck was he doing in the back of the truck??

    If she’s driving off, let her go.

    Damn shame he had to lose his life over some stupid ass drama…Now those kids don’t have a father. Let’s hope he invested wisely.

    Like

  4. BleedLakersPnG

    That’ll be the least of this family’s problems if the police finds that this is to some extent treated as a homicide. Then those kids’ll be without a father as well as a mother.

    Whatever changes that took place in Chris Henry’s life they still weren’t enough as his anger may well have got the better of him , leading up with him having lost his life so needlessly !

    Alan Parkins

    Like

    1. playsonny

      Weird isn’t the half of it. And even now with law enforcement
      finding no wrong-doing on the part of Henry’s fiance’ .
      The question that has to be asked is ‘why didn’t she stop to
      provide assistance once she realized he’d fallen out of the
      pick up ?

      Alan Parkins

      Like

    1. Ravenation LLC Meehan

      What we’ve now found out which makes this situation all the more acute is the fact that Chris Henry has had and survived multiple concussions . It makes one wonder when will the hierarchy of the NFL and NFLPA takes this situation seriously enough get up off their asses and treat this problem with the due attention it deserves instead of just playing lip service to it all ? Or will they both continue to show their brazenness and just continue to squabble over money like two shylocks in a synagogue ?

      NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith

      “I’m with Rev Jerry Jackson I’m struggling to find my as I just came off the plantation Boss. I’s gots nice office but the works a too hard Boss. ”

      All we continue to hear is that they’ll the findings under advisement and speak with their members. What fuc_ing good is that doing when current and former members are suffering from ailments from head injuries during their playing and post playing careers ? It’s as if the likes of Goodell and DeMaurice Smith have their fingers up their ass and aren’t in the least bit concerned . Congressional hearings won’t sort anything out whatsoever ! Because as we all know Congress has to posture take a shit before they can even come to a decision as simple as counting the number of “bean counters” needed to count the beans that will make the right amount of “stimulus money” is dispersed anywhere . The NFL and NFLPA are two organizations that are about as much use a ripple in the ocean going nowhere !

      ;

      “If Limbaugh says we’re paying the dark skinned players too much then that’s something I’m going to have to look into ” ! Roger Goodell

      🙂

      Alan ………. 🙂

      Like

  5. Ravenation LLC

    With so many of these athletes it’s too much money far too soon , a complete lack of maturity and intelligence and then we wonder why such things as this befall them ? Accident or not Henry still had some problems and a great deal of growing up to do.

    🙂

    Alan …….

    🙂

    Like

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