The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police announced today it will not press charges against Chris Henry’s former fiancee Loleini Tonga after the former NFL player dropped off the back of a pickup truck and died following a domestic dispute.
Police claimed that there was no evidence that Tonga was speeding or driving the vehicle recklessly.
Chris Henry’s former fiancee Loleini Tonga in an interview aired today on ESPN-TV said that Henry never threatened suicide from the back of the truck she was driving and that he jumped off the truck of his own volition.
Tonga to ESPN’s John Barr:
He jumped from the back of the car. I was trying to drive slow because I knew he was in the back of the truck. I was going to stop but there’s no where to stop on that road.
I think maybe he thought he was going to land right. I wasn’t going fast. As far as saying killing himself no, he had too much to live for. Maybe he (jumped because he) was scared because he saw me calling the police, I wasnt going fast. He had so much going for him. Everything was going really good.
Henry ultimately came out of the back of the truck, falling to his death.
Carrie Whitaker of the CINCINNATI ENQUIRER has an account of Tuesday’s Chris Henry incident in Charlotte from a man who claims he’s Loleini Tonga’s neighbor. Lee Hardy told Whitaker that he witnessed - from only a few feet away - a heated exchange between Tonga and Henry as they sped past him in a pickup truck.
Lee Hardy, a neighbor, said he was trimming his trees on a 15-foot ladder as he watched the yellow pickup truck zoom past him - with Henry in the bed and his fiancee Loleini Tonga at the wheel.
“He was banging on the top, on the doors, screaming at the lady, ‘We need to talk,’” Hardy said.
“He said, ‘If you take off, I’m going to jump off the truck and kill myself,’ ” Hardy said.
Hardy said he was less than 2 feet from Tongas’ driveway when the pickup drove past. He said it was going about 25 to 30 mph.
Hardy also talked about Tonga as a neighbor. Read more…
CBS-TV Charlotte affiliate WBTV has another eyewitnesses account of the fatal incident involving Chris Henry and Loleini Tonga yesterday.
WBTV spoke with a neighbor who claims he witnessed an argument between Henry and Tonga on Wednesday outside her parents’ Peachtree Road home in northwest Charlotte. The neighbor said Tonga left the house driving a yellow Ford F150 truck. Henry got into the back of the pickup and continued yelling at Tonga.
The neighbor said he heard Henry tell Tongo he was going to throw himself out of the back of the truck if she didn’t stop.
Another person who lived near where Henry eventually landed, Sharon Hofman, was at the scene and attended to the fallen Henry. She also reported an account of what she saw to reporters and police. Read more…
Charlotte flagship NPR station WFAE-FM reporter Greg Collard reports an eyewitness account of yesterday’s Chris Henry incident in progress:
Jed Beck passed the truck on a lunch break. He says the driver appeared under control, but he saw Henry atop a large tool box in the truck bed.
“And his head was poking inside the cabin window, so his head was in the truck. And his body was outside, and he’s holding on - his arms were completely outstretched holding on to both sides…and didn’t have a shirt. Me and my co-worker thought it was completely bizarre because it was 40 degrees outside.
It isn’t clear how many people were within a clear vantage point of the road where Henry fell to his eventual death. Obviously eyewitness accounts like Beck’s will be critical in an attempt to piece together what happened that day.
You can listen to the 911 calls and get more info about the incident here.