The fatal wreck involving former NBA star Mookie Blaylock was caused by a medical emergency and is not a criminal matter, his attorney said Wednesday.
“He had a blackout and what caused it, whether it be from his NBA career or something else, we’re trying to get to the bottom of it,” Don Samuel, a high-profile attorney, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Blaylock was seriously injured in the head-on wreck, which killed Monica Murphy, a 43-year-old mother of five, in Clayton County. He is accused of crossing the center of Tara Boulevard and colliding with a vehicle driven by Murphy’s husband, Frankie, who sustained a broken ankle in the crash.
The former Hawks guard remains hospitalized at Atlanta Medical Center, but is conscious and aware of what has happened, Samuel said.
“He’s terribly terribly upset about what happened,” Samuel said. “Being remorseful is an understatement to how he feels.”
On Monday, Blaylock was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide for the Friday afternoon wreck in Jonesboro, the Clayton County Solicitor previously said. Blaylock, 46, was also charged with making an improper lane change, driving on the wrong side of the road, driving on a suspended license and crossing into the median, Solicitor Tasha Mosley said. All of the charges are misdemeanors.
Investigators have said neither alcohol nor drugs were believed to be involved in the wreck, but toxicology tests have not been completed. Preliminary tests at the hospital revealed no alcohol or drugs, Samuel said. Mosley said if Blaylock was under the influence, his charges likely would be upgraded.
Blaylock didn’t swerve or attempt to brake in the moments before the crash, and his foot was “locked” up on the accelerator due to a blackout, Samuel said. Blaylock has occasionally experienced these medical episodes in the past, Samuel said.
Blaylock has a history of alcohol and drug arrests and has an outstanding warrant out of Spalding County for a March arrest on a DUI charge, records show. At the time of the wreck, he was driving on a suspended license, according to police.
But his past problems shouldn’t affect the charges for the recent wreck, Samuel said.
“My hope is this can be resolved by insurance companies, not criminal charges,” he said.