Police: Briggs Charged With Misdemeanor After Leaving Scene of Accident

By: AP
By: AP

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs was charged with leaving the scene of an accident after crashing his Lamborghini and abandoning it alongside an expressway on the city's North Side, Illinois State Police said.

After meeting with police Monday afternoon, Briggs was also cited for failure to give immediate notice of an accident and improper lane usage, said Master Sgt. Luis Gutierrez.

Briggs was released after posting $100 bond and is scheduled to appear Oct. 4 in a Cook County court. Leaving the scene of a property damage accident is a Class A misdemeanor that carries a maximum 364 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, Gutierrez said.

No one was in the car with Briggs, and no other vehicles were involved, Gutierrez said.

"As a result of interviewing Mr. Briggs, it was determined that he was the driver of his 2007 Lamborghini," police said in a statement.

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Gutierrez said it was "undetermined" if drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash, that Briggs was not tested and it was too late to determine if they were a factor.

Officials said the 2007 Lamborghini Murcielago, which had crashed into a light pole, was discovered around 3:15 a.m on Interstate Highway 94. The black luxury Italian sports car has a Kelley Blue Book value of more than $350,000.

Bears coach Lovie Smith indicated the team will not discipline Briggs, whose "spirits were good for being in a one-car accident."

Smith said his first thought when he found out about the crash was: "Is Lance OK?"

"I was worried about his safety," Smith said. "In every car accident, that's the first thought that goes through your mind."

Defensive end Adewale Ogunleye said Briggs told him about the crash on Monday morning.

"He said that he crashed the car or something, and I had had to get to meetings, so I didn't have a chance to talk to him," Ogunleye said.

Briggs, who has not addressed the media since reporting to training camp late last month, did not make himself available during Monday's open locker room period. He had left practice to meet with authorities by the time reporters were admitted.

Briggs' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was not available for comment, according to his brother Jason, who works for Rosenhaus Sports Representation. Jason Rosenhaus also declined comment.

News of the crash came on the same day Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty to a dogfighting charge and two months after the Bears released defensive tackle Tank Johnson following numerous run-ins with the law.

It follows a rocky offseason for Briggs, a Pro Bowl linebacker who helped Chicago reach the Super Bowl last season.

Upset the Bears slapped the franchise player tag on him, Briggs told the team to remove it or trade him. He also said he would sit out -- at first for the entire season and then for 10 games.

He eventually accepted the one-year, $7.2 million franchise tender offer in late July, and the team agreed not to apply the franchise tag in 2008.

"It's just fortunate that he was able to walk away," said cornerback Nathan Vasher, who also owns a Lamborghini. "We don't know exactly what happened, so hopefully there'll be some more developments on that. I'm just glad to see him for practice."


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