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Legally drunk with what prosecutors allege was at least a .113 blood alcohol concentration and recklessly driving his Dodge Ram at 84 miles per hour, Britt Reid, at the time an assistant coach for the Super Bowl-bound Kansas City Chiefs, tried to enter Interstate 435 using the Raytown Road onramp.
It was then, just after 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 4, that he slammed his pickup into two cars parked in the highway’s breakdown lane. Two children were hurt, most horrifically Ariel Young, a 5-year-old seated in the backseat of her mom’s Chevy Traverse.
Ariel suffered a traumatic brain injury. Months later she can neither walk nor talk. She is finally out of the hospital, but is fed via a tube.
On Monday, prosecutors in Jackson County, Missouri, charged Reid with a Class D felony of driving while intoxicated. If found guilty, the 35-year-old faces between one and seven years in prison. Reid later posted a $100,000 bond but is required to wear a GPS device, avoid alcohol and subject himself to random drug testing.
The focus of this tragedy isn’t merely the actions of Britt Reid.
It’s where those actions took place.
Namely, was Reid drinking inside the Chiefs' offices and training facility before getting behind the wheel and leaving a trail of carnage?
The night of the crash an officer talked to Reid. According to court documents, Reid “stated he had left work and was entering southbound I-435 from Raytown Road …”
The onramp is just steps from the Chiefs' offices and training complex, where the team was preparing for what would be a Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay.
Not that Reid stated he stopped anywhere for a few drinks, but there are no bars, restaurants or residences between the facility and the onramp anyway. The route would be logical for Reid to take if headed to his home about a half hour away in the Kansas suburbs.
So, if he said he left work and was then allegedly legally drunk at an accident scene less than a mile from the office …
Prosecutors didn't state anything specific in the charging documents about where Reid got drunk. The Chiefs, meanwhile, declined comment when asked specifically if they had any information on where Reid was drinking. They pointed back to a blanket statement about praying for Young’s recovery and noting they are in regular contact with a representative for the family.
That isn’t good enough. Not for the Chiefs, not for the Hunt family that owns the team and not for the NFL.
If Britt Reid was drinking at the office before plowing into parked cars, the public deserves to know and the franchise should be on the hook — and not just through any civil litigation by the Young family.
The NFL tries to cloak itself in personal responsibility and community partnership. It needs to investigate and, if needed, punish a favored franchise and the family of a famous coach as aggressively as it does a misbehaving athlete. If Roger Goodell is all about protecting the shield, then how about protecting the public from this stuff?
There is almost no chance the Chiefs don’t know already what happened that night. There is overwhelming surveillance and security surrounding NFL facilities, both inside and outside the buildings. Due to COVID restrictions, the NFL itself monitored activity inside each building last year.
Reid also didn’t work alone. The team has had months to interview anyone and everyone who may have been in contact with him before he left the building.
Was he hiding his drinking from everyone?
Or was he drinking out in the open, after a long couple of weeks of preparation for the big game? If so, who else saw it? Who knew about it? Was anyone else drinking? How common was it?
Transparency is critical. The public is owed that much. Statements about praying for a devastated little girl are empty. Pretending this isn’t an issue worth addressing is worse.
Despite a lengthy history of legal and substance abuse, Britt Reid was the team’s outside linebackers coach (his contract was not renewed after the season) for one reason — his father Andy, is the Chiefs' successful head coach.
In 2007, Britt was sentenced to up to 23 months in prison for a road-rage incident in Pennsylvania, where his father formerly coached the Philadelphia Eagles. (Britt Reid was paroled into a treatment program.) He also pleaded guilty to DUI and drug charges in a separate incident that year after he drove his vehicle into a shopping cart in a parking lot.
If not for nepotism, he never would have gotten a coveted job on an NFL staff. He never should have been inside the Chiefs' building in the first place, drunk on status and power before getting drunk on alcohol and speeding home.
If there was ever an employee who demanded extra monitoring, it was Britt Reid.
So was there any? Right now, we don’t know because neither the Chiefs nor the NFL are saying.
Britt suffered blunt force trauma to his groin and needed surgery, according to court documents. Now he faces significant criminal, and certainly civil, issues. The courts will solve those.
In the interim, the questions remain. Where was Britt Reid drinking?
And silence isn’t an answer.
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