Autopsy: Henry died of blunt force trauma

Published: Jun. 8, 2010 at 3:14 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2010 at 3:25 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX19) - The Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner's Office in North Carolina released the autopsy report for Chris Henry on Tuesday.

Henry, who was a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, died in December after falling from his fiance's pick-up truck. According to the autopsy, Henry's official cause of death was blunt force trauma due to that fall and it was accidental.

The report says Henry suffered several injuries to his head, including a skull fracture, hematoma and abrasions. He also suffered several large abrasions on his back and shoulders.

According to the report, the truck was traveling at 19 miles per hour when Henry exited the truck. It could not be determined by accident reconstruction whether or not he jumped or fell. His fiance, Loleini Tonga, told ESPN in January that Henry jumped, not fell, from the back of the truck while the two were having an argument.

"While jumping from a moving motor vehicle would ordinarily be considered extreme risk taking behavior, it seems that an individual in the decedent's state of health jumping from a moving pickup truck bed at the reported rate of speed would not be sufficient for a reasonable person to believe that this would be an act highly likely to cause death," the report reads. "While it is impossible to know the decedent's intent upon leaving the vehicle, whether it represented an intentional jump or an unintentional fall, either act would be classified as an accident."

The toxicology report revealed no alcohol in Henry's system at the time of his death.

Henry was unresponsive at the scene and taken to the hospital and lived for about 18 hours before he was declared brain dead. His brain was taken to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where a neuropathologic exam reveal he suffered a hemorrhage and contusional injuries.

Police determined earlier this year that charges would not be filed against Tonga.

Henry was also an organ donor, and several of his organs, including his heart, lungs, liver, spleen and pancreas were all donated.

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