- State Police
- CRASH SCENE: Bobby Petrino’s 2012 Road King Harley-Davidson at the point it came to rest Sunday.
I raised a series of questions this morning about how State Police Capt. Lance King came to be involved in helping Hog coach Bobby Petrino to the hospital, including questions aimed at determining whether he knew Petrino had company and whether King had counseled Good Samaritan motorists about giving information to reporters. The people who first picked up Petrino after his motorcycle accident in Madison County have denied to the press that Petrino had female companionship in their car. In fact, a staff member, Jessica Dorrell was with him because she’d been riding with him that day.
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The questions will be answered, but not today. This statement just arrived from the State Police:
On Thursday afternoon (April 5, 2012) the Arkansas State Police completed its investigation of the motor-vehicle crash involving Robert Petrino and Jessica Dorrell.
Subsequently public inquiries have arisen asking the State Police to offer answers to questions relating to the sequence of events which precipitated State Police Captain Lance King to respond to the Fayetteville location where he met Coach Petrino and any information Captain King may have learned about the crash during conversations with Coach Petrino.
While the inquiries have no direct correlation to the investigation of the motor vehicle crash, the questions are legitimate and worthy of answers.
This afternoon (Friday, April 6, 2012) Captain King has been asked by his supervisor to provide a detailed summary of his involvement with Coach Petrino and other individuals who’ve been identified within the crash investigation.
It is the intention of the Arkansas State Police to have information from the summary which may be shared with the public early next week. What information will be released will depend on what facts Captain King provides to his supervisor.
The State Police did release today crash scene photos and a recording of the 911 call I mentioned earlier in which a State Police dispatcher heard a report that a man and a woman were taken from the crash scene to a hospital. Petrino said in a statement the university distributed Sunday and again on at least two occasions Tuesday that he was alone. The revelation that he’d lied and his statement referring to an “inappropriate relationship” of an unspecified nature as an excuse for attemping to shield his staff member from publicity led to his administrative suspension by Athletic Director Jeff Long. The recording, posted here by Channel 4, is solid proof that the presence of a woman with Petrino was in the public domain almost from the minute the accident happened. Did that news reach UA ears before Thursday? It’s an important question.
King was not dispatched at the report of the accident, but was called to meet the car carrying Petrino at a point in Fayetteville where Dorrell was dropped off at her car. It’s unclear who called King — Petrino or Dorrell. If Dorrell, King would clearly have to have known she was involved and that gives rise to the question of whether he subsequently spoke to anyone in the University of Arkansas athletic structure about events. As Petrino’s security escort at football games, King is intimately wired into the athletic program. As commander of Troop L, based in Springdale, he also oversees the division in which the accident was investigated. The facts are, of course, that the report on the wreck detailing Dorrell’s presence was released, if four days after the accident.
The tangled web here will be unwoven, but it may take a little while.
Meanwhile, assistant football coach Taver Johnson met briefly with the media today and reporters got some access to the team. Photo below is from Fox 16. I’m looking for coverage from Arkansas Sports 360, but I assume the coach and team’s thoughts and prayers are with their leader and his family at this difficult time, they are focused on the task at hand, that they intend to play within themselves, yet be inspired to even greater effort because when the going gets tough, well, you know. Transcript of his press avail follows on the jump.