DA: Lynch 'principal suspect,' in vehicle when accident occurred

Updated: June 20, 2008, 4:54 PM ET
Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark calls Bills running back Marshawn Lynch the "principal suspect" in an alleged hit-and-run accident, saying the player was inside his vehicle when it struck and injured a pedestrian.

What's unclear, Clark said Thursday, is whether Lynch was driving the 2008 Porsche SUV when it struck a woman crossing an intersection in downtown Buffalo before speeding off early Saturday.

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"There were other people in the car, too, [Lynch] wasn't the only person in the car," Clark told The Associated Press. "I don't know whether he was driving that car or not. But I'm confident that before the investigation ends, we're going to find out, whether he talks to us or whether he doesn't."

Raising the possibility that those passengers might include Lynch's teammates, Clark warned it would be important for them to step forward.

"I'm not saying how we know it or who they are, but they know who they are, so we'll just see how this plays out," Clark said.

Clark said he's frustrated with the player's lack of cooperation, saying he's had no direct contact with Lynch or his attorney, Michael Caffery. Clark said he remains hopeful a meeting will eventually take place.

Caffery said he has been cooperative.

"It's an ongoing open-line between the D.A.'s office, my office and Buffalo police, but we don't have anything set at the present time," Caffery told the AP.

Lynch, the Bills' 2007 first-round draft pick, has declined comment while taking part in the team's voluntary practices this week.

The victim, identified as a 27-year-old woman from suburban Toronto, had a bruised hip and a cut that required seven stitches. She was treated and released from a hospital on the same day.

Shortly after the accident, police impounded the SUV after discovering it in the driveway of Lynch's home in suburban Buffalo. A piece of a vehicle found at the accident site has also been linked to Lynch's SUV, police said.

Clark, who said he's willing to accept a plea deal, acknowledged he cannot compel Lynch to speak to investigators because the player has a right against self-incrimination.

"The minute I have enough evidence to prove whoever it was behind the wheel, I'll charge them," Clark said.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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