Authorities: Hancock was drunk at time of accident

Friday, May 4, 2007

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock was drunk at the time of the crash that killed him, and marijuana was also found in the sport utility vehicle he was driving, authorities said Friday.

Hancock, 29, was also speaking on a cell phone at about the time of the accident early Sunday on Interstate 64 in St. Louis, Police Chief Joe Mokwa said at a news conference.

"Mr. Hancock was legally intoxicated at the time of the accident," Mokwa said.

St. Louis Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Graham said Hancock's blood-alcohol level was 0.157, nearly twice Missouri's legal limit of 0.08.

Mokwa said 8.55 grams of marijuana and a glass pipe used to smoke marijuana were also found in the rented Ford Explorer Hancock was driving. Toxicology tests to determine if drugs were in his system have not been completed.

An accident reconstruction team determined Hancock was traveling 68 mph in a 55-mph zone when his SUV struck the back of a flatbed tow truck stopped in a driving lane to help a stalled Geo Prism. Mokwa said there was no evidence Hancock tried to stop. He did swerve, but too late to avoid the collision.

Graham said the pitcher died instantly of head injuries. The pitcher was not wearing a seat belt, but Graham said the belt would not have prevented his death.

Mokwa said cell phone records showed Hancock was speaking with a female acquaintance at about the time of the accident. Mokwa said the conversation ended abruptly, presumably when the accident occurred.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: