Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman admitted to police he’d smoked synthetic marijuana just more than an hour before an October automobile crash that has him facing two felony charges.
Coleman is likely to learn in the next few weeks whether he will be charged with felony vehicular assault and hit and run. Those charges stem from his involvement in a two-car crash Oct. 14 in Bellevue a couple hours after a Seahawks practice.
Dan Donohoe, media relations manager for the King County prosecuting attorney, told The News Tribune on Monday afternoon that Coleman’s case was referred to his office earlier in the day. Donohoe said the prosecutor’s review is expected to “probably take a few weeks.”
Later Monday, the Bellevue Police Department released its report on the crash. The police report stated Coleman admitted smoking Spice, a common nickname for synthetic marijuana, about an hour and 20 minutes before the crash of his Dodge Ram pickup into a Honda Civic near that city’s Factoria Mall. Police said Coleman was driving 60 miles per hour in a 35-mph zone on a city street before he slammed his truck into the back of the Honda. The report stated Coleman kept the accelerator down “100%” after the initial contact and plowed the Civic off the road approximately 260 feet, causing the car to flip over and leaving its driver with a head injury and broken clavicle.
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One witness told police Coleman appeared “delirious and aggravated” and another said the Seahawk was “incoherent” before he ran from the crash scene in his bare feet. Officers found him soon after about two blocks from where police and witnesses report the fullback’s truck had come to rest in the road on its driver’s side.
“Coleman was calm and cooperative with police,” the Bellevue PD report states.
“He admitted that he had smoked Spice at 1700 hours, drove somewhere around 1730 and thought he was fine to drive. Coleman claimed he didn’t remember the collision, but stated he looked for the other car prior to leaving and couldn’t see it. Coleman stated he felt like he had passed out and heard people telling him to stay.”
The report went on to state Coleman “performed field sobriety tests and showed signs consistent with being impaired. Blood was not drawn for several hours after the crash and testing did not show any of the drugs he admitted consuming.
“A later search of Coleman’s vehicle located a lighter, a glass spoon pipe with tarry residue, an opened bag of Synthetic Cannabinoid labeled (a federally regulated Schedule I drug), and three unopened bags of Synthetic Cannabinoids.”
The incident happened at about 6:20 p.m. on a Wednesday in the 13600 block of SE 36th Street in Bellevue, on an eastbound incline just east of Factoria Mall. That was about 2 1/2 hours after Coleman finished a practice at Seahawks headquarters, 10 minutes away in Renton. The time at which Coleman admitted to smoking Spice, according to police, was about 90 minutes following the conclusion of practice that day.
Bellevue PD’s 101-page report listed 25 witnesses and concluded Coleman’s “rash and heedless” driving was “indifferent to the consequences and that he was impaired by the drug he had smoked.”
In late 2010, the DEA took steps to ban five chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana blends, including those known as K2, Spice and Blaze. The Associated Press reported in October that in the five years since, illegal drug manufacturers have continuously modified formulas and developed new chemical mixtures.
“Reports of synthetic marijuana products identified by local, state and federal drug labs have skyrocketed since 2009. That year, labs reported 23 cases. (In 2014) there were roughly 37,500,” The AP reported.
The Bellevue Police Department had said in the last couple months it was still waiting on full toxicology reports to come back from the state before deciding whether to refer the case to the prosecutor.
Coleman, primarily a blocking back and special-teams mainstay, was suspended by the team the day after the crash through the Oct. 18 loss to Carolina. The Seahawks reinstated him to their roster on Oct. 20. He missed the Oct. 22 win at San Francisco with a concussion from the crash, then played in the Seahawks’ final 11 games, including two in the postseason.
Bellevue PD referred the case to the prosecutor eight days after the Seahawks’ season ended with a playoff loss at Carolina. Coleman tried to keep the team’s playoff run alive late in that Jan. 17 game when he hit Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis and tried to get him to fumble Seattle’s final onside kick. Davis held onto the ball to end Seattle’s season.
Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett was scheduled to hold a press conference Tuesday morning to discuss the case.
Coleman was booked into the King County Jail in Seattle early on a Thursday and was denied bail, four days after he played for Seattle in its overtime loss at Cincinnati. The player’s attorneys said then their client may have fallen asleep behind the wheel.
A person with a name redacted in the Bellevue police report released Monday and identified in it as Coleman’s “agent” reported to police his client had “issues” at Seahawks’ practice on the day of the crash, a couple hours before it. The police report stated “due to the issues (the agent) alleged that Coleman had to be escorted and helped to his vehicle” parked in the players’ lot just outside team headquarters.
Bellevue police sought and received from the Seahawks video surveillance football of their parking lot from the afternoon of Oct. 14. The Bellevue officer stated in his report “the video showed Coleman walking out the rear of the facility by himself to his vehicle under his own power and having no visible impairments.”
CHANCELLOR, THOMAS OUT OF PRO BOWL
Strong safety Kam Chancellor will not play in the Pro Bowl, according to the Indianapolis Colts’ official announcement that their Mike Adams is replacing him.
Chancellor joins free safety Earl Thomas in opting out of this weekend’s all-star game in Honolulu. That leaves Seattle with five players in the Pro Bowl instead of the team-record seven selections from last month.
Minnesota’s Harrison Smith is replacing Thomas.