Ex-NFL wide receiver Donté Stallworth marks anniversary of morning he killed pedestrian in drunk driving accident with Instagram photo

  • On March 14, 2009, the NFL player fatally struck 59-year-old Mario Reyes in a drunk driving accident in Miami
  • He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and spent 24 days behind bars
  • He marked the five year anniversary of the incident on Friday with a moving Instagram post
  • 'It's never acceptable to drive under the influence,' he wrote. 'You don't want to live with these regrets I have from my irrevocable decision...'

By Daily Mail Reporter and Associated Press Reporter


Five years ago, former NFL player Donte Stallworth got behind the wheel of his car drunk: it is a decision he has always regretted.

Stallworth served 24 days behind bars for fatally hitting a pedestrian, 59-year-old father Mario Reyes, in a drunk driving accident.

Although the sentence was short, he believes living with the impact of his bad decision has been far worse punishment.

On Friday, he marked the five-year anniversary of that horrific moment with a reflective post on Instagram.

'There's nothing I can do to reverse that day, but hopefully you guys will think of me and make better decisions than I did that morning,' he wrote in his Instagram post caption.

'You don't want to live with these regrets I have from my irrevocable decision... Trust me. #BeSmarter.'

Dealing with the pain: Former NFL player Donte Stallworth (pictured) still lives with regret after killing a pedestrian while under the influence five years ago

Dealing with the pain: Former NFL player Donte Stallworth (pictured) still lives with regret after killing a pedestrian while under the influence five years ago

No DUI: Former NFL player Donte Stallworth marked the five-year anniversary of the horrific moment he fatally struck a pedestrian while drunk driving, with this Instagram post on Friday

No DUI: Former NFL player Donte Stallworth marked the five-year anniversary of the horrific moment he fatally struck a pedestrian while drunk driving, with this Instagram post on Friday

Regretful: Donte Stallworth shared his regret about his poor decision-making five years ago with his Twitter followers on Friday

Regretful: Donte Stallworth shared his regret about his poor decision-making five years ago with his Twitter followers on Friday

On March 14, 2009, the then-Ceveland Browns wide receiver was charged with killing Reyes, a construction worker, who police said was running across the street to catch a bus when the drunk athlete hit him with his car.

Stallworth's blood-alcohol level after the crash was .126, well above Florida's legal limit of .08, according to results of a blood test. 

 

According to a police report, Stallworth was drinking at a club in the Fountainebleau hotel on South Beach on the morning of the crash.

He left to go to a nearby home - it's not clear if the home was one of Stallworth's three Miami-area properties - and then headed out to the causeway where Reyes was struck.

'I hit the man lying in the road,' Stallworth told officers arriving to investigate the crash, according to the affidavit.

Convicted: Donte Stallworth (center) pleaded guilty to manslaughter and spent 24 days behind bars in relation to Mario Reyes's death in 2009

Convicted: Donte Stallworth (center) pleaded guilty to manslaughter and spent 24 days behind bars in relation to Mario Reyes's death in 2009

Stallworth pleaded guilty to manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol in exchange for a lighter sentence. His charges carried a 10 to 15 year prison term.

However he was ordered to serve just 30-days behind bars because of his cooperation with investigators, the fact he remained at the scene following the accident and the wishes of the victim's family.

Stallworth reportedly reached a confidential financial settlement with Reyes' family.

Stallworth ended up spending just 24 days in jail.

'I am truly sorry,' Stallworth said at his DUI manslaughter sentencing. He also said he was 'grief-stricken' over the incident.

Authorities suspended Stallworth's driver's license for life and ordered him to pay $10,000 in fines and perform 1,000 hours of community service.

Back in the game: After the incident, Stallworth was suspended for the 2009 season, but returned to play for the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins (pictured) and New England Patriots after being reinstated by the NFL

Back in the game: After the incident, Stallworth was suspended for the 2009 season, but returned to play for the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins (pictured) and New England Patriots after being reinstated by the NFL


The comments below have not been moderated.

The regret would be greater if he was in jail where he should be.

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The victim suddenly ran in front of his car not at a crosswalk.Apparently trying to catch a bus.Not his fault for the death.Had nothing to do with being rich an athlete or special that he was not prosecuted for the death.

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It's rare, but he sounds like he's got good sense.

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Sadly, this type of behaviour is common for NFL athletes. I'm sure our friends in England have the same problems with their professional athletes. If you want justice in these types of crimes, you will have to seek and inflict it for yourself.

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24 days because of the DUI, but the pedestrian was at fault..if he was not drinking the night before, he would have been cleared of the charge.

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24 days for killing someone while driving drunk? SERIOUSLY?!

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Most non-athletes would be Instagramming a picture of a jail cell on their 5th anniversary.

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On the 5 year anniversary, he could have just laid low and no one would have said a word. Instead, he chooses to make news by bringing it up himself, in a plea to others not to drink and drive. Pretty classy, if you ask me.

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His drivers license was suspended for ' life', does that mean he can never drive a car in Miami. . . . or anywhere?

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24 days? he should be going to high schools and colleges around the U.S. telling is story of the dangers of drinking and driving could safe a life.

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