Medical examiner releases autopsy report for Chris Henry - | WBTV Charlotte

Medical examiner releases autopsy report for Chris Henry

(Photo source: (Photo source:
Chris Henry died at a Charlotte hospital early Thursday morning. Chris Henry died at a Charlotte hospital early Thursday morning.
(Photo source: (Photo source:

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner's office has released the autopsy report for Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry who died in north Charlotte last December.

The accident occurred on December 16th as the 26-year-old was standing in the bed of a pickup truck driven by his fiancee, Loleini Tonga.  

According to the medical report, the truck was going about 19 miles per hour when Henry came out of the truck and hit his head on the pavement.

Henry was unresponsive when paramedics arrived.  He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte where he remained for 18 hours "before being declared brain dead" the medical report said.

The medical examiner said "the cause of death in this case is blunt force head trauma due to a fall from a motor vehicle."

The report goes on to state that it is unclear if Henry actually jumped from the bed of the truck or fell due to the motion of the truck.

The medical examiner concluded by saying the death was ruled accidental.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Henry and Tonga were arguing at a home owned by Tonga's family on Peachtree Road when Tonga attempted to drive away.

Henry jumped into the back of the truck and began beating on the back window in an effort to get her to stop the vehicle.

Witnesses told police Henry appeared to have jumped or fallen from the truck in which Tonga was driving.  In the days following his death, the CMPD released two 911 calls regarding the incident. ( Call 1 | Call 2 )

Prior to the deadly accident, Henry was recovering from a broken forearm and he was in Charlotte visiting his finance so they could plan their March wedding.

In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Tonga said they were not discussing the wedding details on the day the accident occurred.

Tonga also said she wasn't driving fast when Henry came out of the truck.  According to a statement from the CMPD, the speed limit on Oakdale Road is 35 mph.  Police said Tonga was going between 19-23 mph when he fell.

Tonga said the incident was a horrible accident and that Henry would not have wanted to end his life because he had too much going on including his kids.

Tonga's Myspace page announced the couple had just bought their wedding rings just days before he died. 

WBTV spoke with Tonga's aunt, Vesi Tonga, following Henry's death.  She said the couple had a volatile history and that the argument was about their wedding plans.  Vesi Tonga said she witnessed many arguments--some even led to pushing and shoving but she never spoke up about their problems.

"You know, I felt like that wasn't my place so I kept to myself, " she said.

Now, she wishes she would have said something.

"I feel like I should been there to say, 'Hey, both of you--stop it, that's enough,'" said Tonga.

Despite the couple's issues, Tonga said Henry loved his fiancee and was looking forward to their life together.

"The Chris I know loved his children," she said. "He loved life. He was excited about his career. He loved my niece to death."

She wonders if that love cost Henry his life.

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