Coach Pleads No Contest

Tuesday, September 18th 2007, 11:47 am
By: News On 6

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) -- Muskogee High School's head football coach pleaded no contest Tuesday to a misdemeanor for failing to immediately notify police after getting into a traffic accident that left a 7-year-old boy with a broken collar bone. Coach Matt Hennesy received the maximum fine, $500. He was not given any jail time.

Chase Thornton drove his bicycle in front of a car driven by Hennesy on Thursday evening, Muskogee Police said.

The coach said he called the boy's father and had one of his players carry the child to a nearby training room, where the boy was left with an athletic trainer and another adult. The coach then went to a team dinner.

Police were notified after the boy was taken to Muskogee Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for the broken collar bone and abrasions. Under Oklahoma law, the driver of a vehicle involved in an injury accident is required to immediately call police.

When contacted by the Muskogee Phoenix newspaper after the accident, Hennesy said:

"I ought to be dealing with tomorrow night's game not this crap."

The accident occurred when Hennesy was leaving Indian Bowl, the stadium where his team plays.

"I'm not going to file a report against a little kid, even though my car was damaged," he said. "It was the kid's fault."

He later said his comments were taken out of context and reflected his feelings about dealing with police reports and media questions that "made me look like a monster." He also admitted his mistake.

"It's rough to get a $500 fine when somebody runs into your car, but I did not call the police. That was my mistake.

"I've learned my lesson. Now I know and hopefully somebody else will learn from this."

Related Stories:

9/14/2007 Coach Involved In Injury Accident Tells His Side

9/17/2007 Coach Involved In Accident To Be Charged With Misdemeanor