HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – Two Buffalo Bills players are suspected of a drag racing incident in Hamburg Friday afternoon.
Buffalo Bills Defensive Tackle Marcell Dareus is facing charges for an accident on Milestrip Road near McKinley Parkway, and News 4 has learned Bills Defensive End Jerry Hughes may have been involved in the alleged drag racing incident.
Dareus, 24, was arrested last Friday around 3:15 p.m. on charges of second-degree reckless endangerment, an A misdemeanor, reckless driving and participating in an illegal speed contest, both unclassified misdemeanors, and other traffic infractions. Dareus was not at OTAs at the Buffalo Bills Field House Tuesday.
Hamburg Police say Dareus was driving a white 2012 Jaguar Friday afternoon on Milestrip when the vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree near the Mongolian Buffet. The crash caused extensive damage to the Jaguar and the tree.
At the time of the crash, police were responding to reports of a Jaguar and a Camaro or Mustang, possibly racing on Milestrip near McKinkley Parkway. Police say witnesses said they saw the white Jaguar and a black Camaro traveling at a high rate of speed.
Hughes is suspected of being the other driver in the alleged drag racing incident. No charges have been filed against Hughes at this point, and police say they are still working to determine the identity of the driver.
Jon from Orchard Park witnessed the crash and sent in photos of the aftermath.
“If that tree wasn’t there, he would have run right through the front of the Mongolian Buffet. No doubt about it,” Jon said. “The dust clears, and I’m sitting there thinking this guy’s got to be dead! You see the roll, and the tree and the impact.”
“Gets out of his car, he stumbles around, looking at his car for a couple minutes. Then he goes right for the backseat, opens the backseat door, grabs a bookbag, slams the door shut and takes off running toward Milestrip.”
Jon says Dareus then got into a black Camaro with Texas license plates and the driver drove away. Sources tell News 4 that the Hughes is the owner of the Camaro.
Buffalo Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone said at a press conference Tuesday that he knows who the other driver is who was allegedly involved in the illegal race, but will not say who it was. He said he will let the legal process play out.
Marrone said Dareus, who did not appear to be hurt after the crash and did not go to the hospital, will be at mandatory mini-camp, but will not be at OTAs. Hughes had no comment after practice.
“I’m disappointed in all of our players. Any one of them, including myself, when we make bad decisions,” Marrone said. “I believe in Marcel and I will do everything I can to get him on the right track.”
These latest charges come just one week after Dareus addressed the media after practice, saying he was going to be the man the Bills expected him to be. He said, “I’m at home, and I’m away from all the mess. I can focus, and really just be myself and have fun.”
Dareus was arrested May 5 on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia in Cleburne County, Alabama. WVUA reports Dareus was in possession of synthetic cannabis, or “spice.”
Bills management expressed support for Dareus after his arrest in Alabama.
Dareus discussed conversations he’s had with Bills official, saying, “They believe in me; they know I’m not a troubled guy. They know that I’m not the person who’s trying to look for any trouble. Things happen, we’re moving forward and they know I’m going to grow into the guy they want me to be.”
“I feel like I’m on the straight and narrow. Things happen; young, dumb. You’ve got to correct it and just work through it.”
Jon has little sympathy for the Bills player.
“Something so stupid as driving down the road, he could have killed not just one or two people, he could have killed a whole restaurant full of people. You don’t know how busy they were.”
Dareus is due in Hamburg Town Court on June 17 for the misdemeanor charges. He still faces felony drug charges in Alabama for his arrest last month.