Published November 20, 2014
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A toxicology report found no alcohol in Chris Henry's system after the Cincinnati Bengals receiver died in December from a fractured skull and other head injuries in what's been ruled an accident.
The full autopsy and toxicology reports were released by the Mecklenburg County medical examiner's office on Tuesday, nearly six months after Henry died when he came out of the back of a pickup truck driven by his fiancee.
No traces of alcohol were found. The toxicology report didn't include any other tests for drugs.
Witnesses told police Henry jumped into the back of the moving vehicle driven by Loleini Tonga in the driveway of her family home in Charlotte on the morning of Dec. 16 during a domestic dispute.
It remains unclear if Henry jumped or fell out of the truck while it was traveling about 19 mph on a windy road about a mile from the home. Henry was declared brain dead 18 hours later. He was 26.
Tonga, who claimed in an interview with ESPN that Henry jumped from the truck, was not charged.
"While it is impossible to know the decedent's intent upon leaving the vehicle, whether it represented an intentional jump or an unintentional fall, either act would be classified as an accident," the report said.
The autopsy was done after Henry's family donated several of his organs, including his heart, lungs, liver, kidney, spleen and pancreas.
The report, which was signed off by Mecklenburg County medical examiner Dr. Christopher Gulledge on Friday, indicated Henry suffered numerous head injuries, including a fractured skull and brain hemorrhaging.
His brain was taken to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for further examination, and was also donated to a group studying brain injuries among professional football players.
A witness said Henry, who was away from the Bengals after being placed on injured reserve with a broken arm, was agitated when he jumped into the truck bed.
Witness Lee Hardy told reporters he heard Henry say, "If you take off, I'm going to jump off the truck and kill myself."
A 911 caller told a dispatcher she saw a shirtless man wearing a cast "beating on the back of this truck window." A later 911 caller said he saw an unresponsive man laying on a curvy, residential road about eight miles northwest of downtown Charlotte.