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.
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.
Courtesy of NFL.com and the Associated Press
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.