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Nearly one month ago, then-Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid acknowledged he had a few drinks, got behind the wheel of a truck and slammed into two cars that were pulled over at a Kansas City highway entrance.
Yet Reid, the son of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, remains a free man, still awaiting a Kansas City police investigation to determine whether he’ll face charges.
That continued uncertainty has frustrated many, who in the meantime have followed what remains an ominous prognosis for the 5-year-old girl who was in the backseat of one of the hit vehicles and critically injured during the crash.
Ariel Young woke up from a coma last month. That’s about the only positive news. Her family and their attorney report she remains unresponsive and can neither speak nor walk.
“She likely has permanent brain damage that she will endure for the rest of her life,” Tom Porto, the family’s attorney told ABC.
“She is not the same happy, free-spirited little girl she was before this horrific crash,” her aunt Tiffany Velhurst wrote on a GoFundMe page that is attempting to raise money for the family.
Kansas City Police told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday that the investigation into the incident is ongoing and there are no updates.
KCPD originally stated that similar cases take at least 1-2 months, as it awaits toxicology reports and further investigation. That timetable is still in play. Toxicology results alone in Jackson County, Missouri can sometimes take three months to be returned, according to locals with knowledge of the system.
According to a search warrant to draw blood from Reid, the 35-year-old acknowledged to officers on the scene that he had consumed 2-3 drinks prior to driving and was taking prescription Adderall. He was not arrested on the scene for suspicion of drunk driving or any charge.
The fact Reid was taken to an area hospital, where he underwent surgery for injuries sustained in the crash, may have played a part in that decision. While the lengthy delay in charges remains a topic of discussion, police and independent local defense attorneys say this is standard operating procedure, particularly for a high-profile case involving a critical injury.
“While many point to alleged statements made by Mr. Reid to law enforcement as a reason to charge, this was a devastating incident with catastrophic consequences,” said Chris Scott of the Christopher Scott Law Office in Kansas City.
Scott does not represent Britt Reid, but both as a former county prosecutor and now a defense attorney, he has extensive background in DUI cases.
“Law enforcement needs as much information as possible before turning the investigation over to prosecutors for a charging decision,” Scott said. “It could be more than just toxicology results they are waiting for. There could be accident reconstruction taking place, other witnesses needing to be tracked down, or other issues they need to resolve.”
As for a timetable, no one can reasonably know. Police have asked for patience and continue to stress they are doing what they can.
“If toxicology reports are pending, those could come in tomorrow or take weeks or months to come back,” Scott said.
Then and only then will local prosecutors decide whether to pursue charges.
“Ultimately, he will only be arrested if criminal charges are filed,” Scott said.
In a statement last month following the crash, the Chiefs said they were “gathering information” themselves on the situation, but offered no details or update to Yahoo Sports this week. The team instead pointed to their previous statement.
What the Chiefs have found could have a significant impact on the case and the NFL itself. The accident occurred around 9 p.m. on the ramp leading from Stadium Drive to Interstate 435. That’s when Reid struck two vehicles, including one that carried Ariel. Her mother had driven to the spot to aid a cousin who had run out of gas.
It is the most direct route from the Chiefs' facility, where the coaching staff was working to prepare for the Super Bowl, toward Reid’s home in Overland Park, Kansas.
Due to NFL COVID-19 restrictions, Reid was prohibited from visiting any bars, restaurants or even a private residence. Doing so would have prevented not only him but anyone he contact-traced with from working the Super Bowl. Even then, there is no place to drink that would require taking Stadium Drive home.
As such, the suspicion is that Reid was drinking inside the Chiefs' facility, which like all NFL buildings has extensive video and professional surveillance and security.
Reid has a history of legal and substance abuse problems, including a prior DUI in Pennsylvania. The Chiefs overlooked that in the spirit of nepotism and gave Reid a job as their outside linebackers coach.
Reid was quickly suspended by the team following the crash. He did not travel to the Super Bowl, although since he was hospitalized that decision was moot. The team allowed his contract to expire a week after the season and he is not employed in the NFL. The Hunt family, which owns the Chiefs, has been in touch with the family of Ariel Young and is now offering support and resources.
Otherwise, it is still wait-and-see in Kansas City for a frustrated public.
There’s still hope for better days for Ariel, and for details and decisions from Kansas City law enforcement and the Chiefs themselves.
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