Two weekends in a row the NFL lost an active player to a tragic death under tragic circumstances. But just as details emerged late about the Jovan Belcher murder-suicide, chilling details of the car crash that killed Cowboys linebacker Jerry Brown have surfaced and they’re gruesome, infuriating and confusing all at the same time.
Warning: if you’re faint of heart don’t read into the details, as the eye witness basically insinuates that Josh Brent left his best friend to burn alive in a wrecked car.
“I jumped out of my vehicle and ran up to make sure everything was okay,” said Stacee McWilliams, who drove up on the accident just moments after it had happened. “As I got closer to the scene there was a gentlemen, which I later found out was Josh Brent, that was standing off the right side of the wreckage kind of pacing back and forth.”
McWilliams said she got out of her car to make sure Brent was okay, and couldn’t tell if he was drunk or in shock. Before she could read too much into that, she said she noticed a small flame starting to build around the flipped car.
But at this point, McWilliams was under the impression that it was a single car collision involving one person, and due to Brent’s general calmness she didn’t assume there was another person trapped in the wreckage.
That was until she heard screams and pleas for help coming from with the car that was now becoming engulfed in flames.
“It took no time at all for the fire to really get engaged; it became very bright, very hot and very big. And then I started to hear screams coming from inside the vehicle,” she said. “It was a man’s voice saying, ‘help me, help me, somebody help me’.”
Unbeknownst to anyone at the time, these screams were those of Jerry Brown.
McWilliams asked Brent if there was another person in the car, to which Brent answered yes. It wasn’t until McWilliams frantically told him to stop walking around and pull him out that Brent sprung into the actions some interpreted as a heroic effort to save his friend.
“Josh looked at me [from the other side of the car] and told me [Brown] wouldn’t get out of the car,” she said, fighting back emotion. “I said, well you can’t just leave him in there and let him die. You’ve got to help him, go get him.”
She says that when it appeared Brent wasn’t going to help Brown, she ran to her car to get her cellphone and by the time she had returned, Brent had indeed pulled Brown out of the car. But while Brown was outstretched in the middle of a lane dying, McWilliams said Brent wasn’t by his friends side, he was instead nowhere to be seen.
“I didn’t know Jerry in life, I had never heard of him. … but I want people to understand that Josh Brent is not a hero. I keep hearing reports that he was there to pull his friend from the fire but he had to be coerced and pushed and begged and pleaded to get his friend out of the fire. And when he pulled him out, he just left him in the street and didn’t tell him to hang in there. He just left him there.”
McWilliams says she’s not saying this to get her name in the news, rather she wants the true story of how an innocent man died to be known, and that Josh Brent isn’t someone we should feel sorry for.
“I want the magnitude of that to be understood.”