It was a sweet victory against the San Francisco 49ers, but the last couple weeks have been rough on the road for the Seattle Seahawks with two separate players making traffic headlines.
Running back Fred Jackson crashed into a street sign, driving too fast near the team facility on Tuesday. There were initial news releases that Jackson was drag racing with teammate Marshawn Lynch, but there was no evidence to support this and Jackson denies these claims. There were reportedly damages to Jackson’s Corvette, but no personal injuries.
According to the Seattle Times, Renton police are finished investigating the accident. Jackson may receive an inattentive driving infraction. These minor infractions come with a fine around $175. City ordinances allow law enforcement officers to stop and ticket drivers who are not paying attention, giving infractions for “inattentive driving” or “inattention”. Because this is a relatively vague and objective infraction and there is no state law defining it, these violations are not part of the driving record.
If Jackson had been guilty of drag racing, his penalties could have been much more severe. Street racing can fall under reckless driving (RCW 46.61.500), which is a gross misdemeanor criminal traffic offense and carries significant penalties. Penalties may include jail time of up to 364 days, a fine of up to $5,000, and mandatory license suspension of at least a month. There may be additional consequences involving loss of employment, impact on immigration status, requirement of ignition interlock, or increased insurance premiums. Please see our recent blog post about the law and penalties involved with reckless driving.
Jackson joins his teammate fullback Derrick Coleman in recent traffic news headlines. Coleman was involved in a two-car accident that left the driver of the other car injured. This accident occurred last week in Bellevue. Coleman was initially arrested on suspicion of vehicular assault and hit-and-run, but he was released the next day. Charges have not yet been filed and investigation is pending. Coleman’s suspension with the Seahawks was lifted, but he did not play in Thursday’s game due to concussion, assumed to be resulting from the accident.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll reported that Jackson addressed his accident with the team, asking his teammates to drive safely. Carroll stated he was “disappointed” in both Jackson and Coleman’s accidents and he wanted to use the opportunity to remind all of the players to drive cautiously and carefully.
Whether you are a Seattle Seahawk or an Average Joe, it is highly advised that you work with an experienced traffic attorney when facing traffic related charges. A skilled traffic attorney will perform a comprehensive investigation to fully understand the details of your situation and obtain a favorable outcome. These are significant charges and you should not try to tackle them without experienced counsel to advise you appropriately and advocate on your behalf.