Broncos RB says he's grateful to be alive after stolen car crashed into his Jeep

Denver Broncos running back De'Angelo Henderson celebrates after a touchdown reception against the Chiefs last season. (AP)
Denver Broncos running back De’Angelo Henderson celebrates after a touchdown reception against the Chiefs last season. (AP)

The good news first: Denver Broncos running back De’Angelo Henderson suffered only minor injuries on Saturday after being the innocent victim of a car crash.

But what led to that was a wild and scary scene in Denver that involved a stolen car, a chase away from police and an accident that left four hospitalized, including the Broncos’ second-year back.

Car in Denver was stolen on Saturday night

The only involvement Henderson has in this story is being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

According to the CBS affiliate in Denver, officers spotted a car on Saturday night that was reported stolen. The vehicle eluded officers and sped away, CBS4 Denver said.

The stolen car crashed with other cars, including Henderson’s Jeep that flipped over. The accident closed lanes of traffic on Jordan Road, near a major freeway, for hours. Because of that, the story was notable in Denver long before anyone realized one of the victims was a Broncos player.

Team says Henderson is OK

Broncos spokesman Patrick Smyth confirmed Henderson was injured in the accident but was OK. All four people injured, including the two people in the stolen car, were released from the hospital on Sunday, CBS 4 Denver said. Smyth said Henderson’s injuries were minor.

Mike Klis of 9News reported that Henderson was bringing home takeout food for his young family when his Jeep was hit at about 8 p.m. Saturday.

“Most traumatic event I’ve probably ever had to deal with”

Henderson described the incident on Instagram, with a picture of his flipped-over vehicle.

The second-year back is competing for a roster spot, and OTA practices start next week. The timing of the situation is not good, but at least he wasn’t seriously injured.

Henderson admits he was fortunate to not only escape the accident without major injury, but to live through it.

“I’m very grateful and humbled to be alive,” Henderson said.

Henderson hopes to practice next week

While football might seem trivial given what happened, the next few months are hugely important for Henderson’s career.

The Broncos drafted Henderson in the sixth round last year and he played well in preseason, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Henderson was stuck behind veterans on the depth chart when the season started and only got seven regular-season carries, though he did add a 29-yard touchdown reception in the season finale. Denver drafted running back Royce Freeman in the third round last month, and Henderson will be battling for a job through preseason. Any missed practice time wouldn’t help, but he said he hopes to participate in OTAs next week.

The driver of the stolen car has her own ramifications to deal with. According to 9News, 37-year-old Rainbow Sunset Espinoza was arrested and according to the Douglas County Detention Center is facing 11 charges: stealing a vehicle, driving recklessly, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, evading police, failing to turn on her headlights, driving a car without plates, driving while her license was revoked, running red lights, criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools and second-degree assault with a deadly weapon.

– – – – – – –

Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!