Coach Involved In Accident To Be Charged With Misdemeanor

Monday, September 17th 2007, 3:13 pm
By: News On 6

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) -- Prosecutors plan to charge Muskogee High School's head football coach with a misdemeanor for failing to immediately notify police after getting into a traffic accident in which a 7-year-old boy suffered a broken collar bone.

Assistant District Attorney James Walters said Monday that coach Matt Hennesy will likely be charged with misdemeanor failure to report an accident with injury, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500 or 10 days in jail. No jail time is expected.

Chase Thornton drove his bicycle in front of a car driven by Hennesy on Thursday evening, 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 a broken collarbone, a knot on his head and road rash on a leg and shoulder, police Capt. Chad Farmer said. The boy was released from the hospital.

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, Hennesy said: "I ought to be dealing with tomorrow night's game not this crap." Hennesy told The News On 6 he was irritated with the reporter, not referring to the accident itself.

"I'm not dealing with this crap had to do with talking to her, filling out police reports at 11 o'clock at night, had nothing to do with my concern for the young man, had nothing to do with my concern for the incident," he said.

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 told the “Tulsa World” that 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."

Hennesy coached Muskogee on Friday night, when the Roughers, ranked No. 3 in Class 6A, lost 26-11 to top ranked Tulsa Union.

Related story:

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