Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg police interviewed a witness Thursday evening who may change the course of the Chris Henry investigation.

The Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver died Thursday after he fell out of the back of a pickup truck a day before. That truck was driven along Oakdale Road by his fiancee, Loleini Tonga.

Tonga returned to her home for a brief moment Thursday afternoon. Friends say she has been incredibly distraught since the accident.

Police say the couple was arguing over wedding plans when Tonga allegedly sped off in a pickup truck. Henry was in the bed of the truck, trying to get her to stop.

And he was demanding, 'We need to talk,' said neighbor Lee Hardy.

Hardy says he was trimming a tree very close to the driveway of the Tonga home. The truck stopped about 30 feet away. He says Henry was yelling.

'We need to talk. We need to talk.' She was saying, 'No, I don't want to talk. Get off the truck,' Hardy said.

The truck pulled off. Soon afterward, a woman driving behind the pickup called 911: I need a police officer on Oak Road. I'm riding behind a yellow truck. It's an F-150 ... It's got a black man on it with no shirt on and he's got his arm in a cast. He's got some black pants on. He's beating on the back of this truck window and the truck is driving. I don't know if he's trying to break in it or something. It just looks crazy. It's a girl driving it.

Listen: First 911 Call | Second call

Before the truck sped away, Hardy heard a comment that adds suicide to the potential list of causes of the accident.

He said, 'If you take off I'm going to jump out and kill myself,' Hardy said.

Police interviewed Hardy Thursday evening. Officers called the retired DMV employee credible and said his story is consistent with some of the other facts they have gathered during the investigation.

Meanwhile, Henry's teammates and colleagues reacted to news of his death Thursday.

We ask that you keep Chris' family -- especially the young children he leaves behind -- in your prayers, Henry's agent, Andy Simms of PlayersRep Sports said in a statement. It is tragic when a life is taken so young. He was a man just realizing his potential, not just in football, but in life.

The Bengals will wear a helmet sticker Sunday against San Diego to remember Henry.

When the players received word Henry had died, quarterback Carson Palmer called them together in the locker room and said they should dedicate the game and rest of the season to Henry and the wife of defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who died unexpectedly during the season.

Henry was away from the Bengals after breaking his left forearm during a win over Baltimore on Nov. 8. He had surgery and was placed on season-ending injured reserve following the game.

We are greatly saddened by today's tragic news about the loss of Chris Henry, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris' family, including his Bengals family. We have been in contact with the Bengals to offer our support through this difficult time. I ask you to keep Chris Henry and his family in your thoughts today.

Read or Share this story: