The Miami Herald has learned that New York Jets tight end Christopher Herndon IV, a former University of Miami standout picked in the fourth round of April's NFL Draft, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and taken away in handcuffs at the scene of a car accident just before dawn Saturday.
Herndon, 22, was driving a Nissan Armada and hit and totaled a Toyota FJ-40 Land Cruiser owned by Albert Elliott, 76, of Manalapan, New Jersey, at 4:45 a.m. Saturday on West Interstate 80, mile marker 35.4, in Rockaway Township, New Jersey, New Jersey State Police spokesman Jeff Flynn confirmed to the Herald.
Herndon also demolished a railroad motorcar and the attached trailer, said a source close to Elliott.
The source said Elliott sustained a bruised and gashed arm. It is unknown if Herndon was injured.
"The case remains under investigation,'' Flynn said. "Mr. Herndon was arrested and charged with DWI. The DWI charge is considered a violation of New Jersey motor vehicle statutes."
Elliott's friend told the Herald: “The only thing my friend said was that Herndon left in handcuffs. Herndon’s car hit the trailer, and his car spun around and then hit Al’s car. The motorcar and trailer look like they were put in a blender.’’
The source said a witness on the scene said that Herndon appeared to be speeding.
Railroad motorcars, formerly used to inspect the rails, are now bought and restored and used for excursions on host railroads to tour parts of the country. Elliott, from New Jersey, was on his way to an excursion in Pennsylvania, the source said.
Herndon, who was drafted 107th overall, is from Norcross, Georgia, according to the UM media guide, and from Duluth, Georgia, according to the police spokesman. This past season he was UM’s second-leading receiver with 477 yards and four touchdowns on 40 catches — despite missing the final two games after sustaining a season-ending injury and undergoing surgery to repair the medial collateral ligament of his left knee.
Herndon recently signed a four-year contract worth just over $3.1 million, and had a strong chance of winning the starting job.
The Jets are scheduled to host the Dolphins at 1 p.m. Sept. 16 at MetLife Stadium.