Stallworth seeking redemption on the field and off with Ravens
After striking 59-year-old
It was too late. Reyes died of the injuries suffered in the accident, when he had tried to run across the causeway to catch a bus on the other side of the highway, and Stallworth, legally intoxicated at the time of the accident, was charged with vehicular homicide.
"Shock was the first emotion,'' Stallworth told SI.com, in his first interview since the accident. "I drive that causeway all the time. I never see people running across it. [My reaction] was utter disbelief.''
But Stallworth said he blames no one but himself for the accident. "I have taken responsibility for the accident since it happened, and I will live with it for the rest of my life,'' he said. "I think about it every day. I think about his 14-year-old daughter [now, actually 15-year-old daughter
Stallworth, 29, signed a one-year, $900,000 contract with the Ravens on Feb. 17 after serving a one-year NFL suspension. He served only 24 days in a Miami jail -- a sentence that continues to draw fire from those who believe Stallworth got off easy. He is under two years house arrest (allowed to leave to practice and fulfill work duties with the Ravens) and then eight years' probation. He cannot drive for at least four more years, per his sentence. He also paid an undisclosed cash settlement to the Reyes family -- thought to be at least $3 million -- for causing his death.
The Ravens have kept a tight lid on Stallworth since the signing, shielding him from interviews until this one and a group session with Baltimore-area reporters Thursday at the team training facility in Owings Mills, Md.
The 13th pick in the 2002 draft by New Orleans, Stallworth never lived up to the promise of draft day. He's never caught more than 70 passes in a season; he's never had a 1,000-yard receiving season. And during early offseason workouts with the Ravens, in Owings Mills, Md., he says he is determined to turn his career, and his life, around.
"I told John [coach