Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry died during the early morning hours on December 17, 2009, after suffering a major head injury during a car accident. Not only was it a tragic reminder of how life can be taken away from you in a heartbeat, it was the ending to a story that finally found the right path; a turnaround that friends, family and even Bengals fans were becoming proud of.
I remember that day as clear as remembering yesterday. December 16, 2009. It was a Wednesday when Joe Reedy tweeted that Henry was in an accident and his injuries were "believed to be very serious." We streamed a story that day, offering continuous updates on his condition with whatever information we could find about what exactly happened; a lot of it fake. We held out hope he'd survive through the first 24 hours, because as we understand it, that's the most critical time for head injuries. Unfortunately, he didn't, dying at 6:36 the next morning.
The NFL held a moment of silence for every game during week 15. Today his mother talks about how his death saved the lives of four people -- a feature we saw during the morning of November 28 last year on CBS' pregame show.
Quincy Wilson, a former Bengals and West Virginia teammate of Henry's, is planning outings to remember Henry. The former Bengals running back said:
"I reached out to several former Mountaineer greats," Wilson said. "Patrick White, Owen Schmidt, Pat McAfee, Jarrett Brown and Rasheed Marshall, just to name a few.
"Everyone I've talked to has been supportive," Wilson said. "That's been great because the philosophy is always 'once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer.' You really find that out when you reach out to people for an event like this.
Some of the events include a free youth football clinic with former Mountaineer players donating their time in memory of Henry. They will also hold a celebrity auction and basketball game.