Derrick Coleman remained suspended from the team and in jail Thursday night while under investigation for two felony charges from a two-vehicle collision.
Bellevue police chief Steven Mylett said in a news conference Thursday afternoon that “there was enough evidence there to lead us to suspect that perhaps drugs or alcohol could have been involved” and Coleman was later subjected to a blood test.
Derrick Coleman, 24, is being held at the King County Jail on investigation of vehicular assault and hit and run. He was being held without bond, as is common until he appears before a judge for a bail hearing. His initial hearing is today at 2:30 p.m. in King County Court.
The Seahawks have suspended Coleman indefinitely pending further information, a team spokesperson said in a statement.
According to police, Coleman was driving a Dodge pickup eastbound in the 13600 block of Southeast 36th Street around 6:20 p.m. Wednesday when his vehicle struck a Honda Civic traveling in the same direction.
Mylett said Coleman’s vehicle was traveling at “a high rate of speed” at the time of the accident. The speed limit on the road is 35 miles per hour, Mylett said. The driver of the other car, a male, sustained “serious but non-life-threatening injuries” and was taken to a hospital, Mylett said. Coleman did not report being injured.
Police said Coleman left on foot from the accident. Officers found him eight minutes after the accident standing barefoot two blocks from the scene, Mylett said, standing along the roadway on Southeast 37th Street.
Derrick Coleman was cooperative when officers contacted him, the chief said.
Asked what led police to believe drugs or alcohol could be involved, Mylett said, “It’s going really toward statements that were made and observations from the officer at the scene. All I can say is there was enough to warrant us bringing the DRE (drug recognition expert) out there and do sobriety tests and also to secure a search warrant for his blood.”
Results of the blood test, which was taken at Overlake Hospital, could take a few weeks, Mylett said.
Mylett said Coleman did not say why he left the scene of the accident. Mylett said that would be a focus of the investigation.
Coleman’s agents, Derrick Fox and Mark Bloom, released a statement, which read in part: “While the facts of the case are still being determined, it seems Derrick may have fallen asleep while driving home from a Seahawks’ facility. … We will continue to work closely with the local officials while a full investigation is being conducted.”
Mylett said he could not comment about whether Coleman had fallen asleep.
Coleman’s lawyer, Bellevue-based Stephen W. Hayne, said he was confident charges will not be filed. Hayne released to television stations, as well as to the Seahawks, a roughly three-minute video Hayne took of him interviewing Coleman hours after the accident that Hayne says shows Coleman was not under the influence.
“That’s the first time in 40 years I have released something like that, that’s how strongly I feel,” Hayne said.