The King County prosecutor on Friday charged former Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman with vehicular assault and felony hit and run as the result of a long investigation into a two-car crash in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue in October.
Coleman, currently unsigned as a free agent after his $1,485,000 Seahawks contract expired in January, is scheduled for arraignment in courtroom 1201 of the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle on June 16 at 8:30 a.m. He could face jail time of 12 to 14 months if he’s convicted of the two felony charges. That is according to Dan Donohoe, spokesman for King County prosecutor Daniel Satterberg.
A Bellevue police report from the incident on Oct. 14 involving Coleman’s Dodge Ram pickup truck and a Honda Civic about 2 1/2 hours after a Seahawks practice in nearby Renton said Coleman admitted smoking “Spice” about an hour before the crash. “Spice” is a common nickname for synthetic marijuana. Police say 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 states Coleman kept the accelerator down “100%” after the initial contact and drove the Civic off the road approximately 260 feet, causing it to flip over and leaving the 56-year-old driver with what was initially termed a head injury and also subsequently a fractured collarbone. The police reported Coleman then left the scene of the crash barefoot.
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Coleman was booked into the King County Jail in Seattle early on a Thursday in October and was denied bail, 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.
The Seahawks suspended him indefinitely a day after the crash then reinstated him to the roster five days later while the investigation began. He did not play in the Oct. 18 loss to Carolina, then played in Seattle’s final 12 games of the 2015 season, including two playoff games.
The Seahawks have never stated what role the crash and investigation had, if any, in their decision not to re-sign their three-year fullback following January’s playoff loss at Carolina.
Coleman played in 36 regular-season and postseason games from 2013-15 for the Seahawks, including in their win over Denver in Super Bowl 49 at the end of the 2014 season. He became a mainstay on the special-teams units in the kicking game.
Seattle also chose not to re-sign Will Tukuafu, their other fullback from last season. The Seahawks, one of the few NFL teams that still use a fullback regularly to block in its rushing offense, have been trying two former college defensive linemen at the position during offseason drills this spring. That includes former University of Washington lineman Taniela Tupou.
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle