- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 15, 2003

DALLAS, Jan. 15 (UPI) — Dallas Cowboys reserve cornerback Dwayne Goodrich on Wednesday faced manslaughter charges in the deaths of two men hit by a speeding car while trying to pull an injured motorist from a burning car.

Goodrich, 24, surrendered to Dallas police late Tuesday night and he was released from jail about 2:15 a.m. Wednesday after posting a $50,000 bond. He was charged with two counts of manslaughter, a second-degree felony.

Demont Matthews, 23; and Joseph Wood, 21; long-time friends from Plano, Texas, were fatally injured about 2 a.m. Tuesday as they tried to rescue the driver of a burning car on Interstate 35 in north Dallas.

Witnesses said a gray BMW, traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph, crashed into the men and did not stop. Accident investigators said there were no skid marks to indicate that the driver attempted to stop, police Lt. John Blanton said.

Police later determined that the car was registered to Goodrich, a Cowboys' second-round draft pick in 2000 from Tennessee who started one game this past season.

Goodrich contacted police because he knew they would be looking for him, his agent, Stephen W. Zucker, told The Dallas Morning News.

"He's just devastated by all of this, absolutely devastated," Zucker said.

Calvin Hill, the Cowboys' coordinator of player assistance, extended sympathy to the families of the two victims.

"We were informed on Tuesday of this tragic situation. It is a police matter, and we will continue to monitor developments. We are deeply saddened for the families who have experienced the lost of life."

Matthews and Wood had pulled off the freeway to help the driver of a car that burst into flames after read-ending a parked semi-tractor trailer truck. They joined a third man who was also trying to assist at the accident scene. The third man suffered a broken leg and the driver of the burning car is expected to survive, police said.

The BMW dragged Matthews 155 feet, according to police. He died at the crash scene and Wood died Tuesday morning at a hospital.

Manslaughter is a second-degree felony and carries a penalty of 2 to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $200,000.

Goodrich received a $1 million signing bonus from the Cowboys in 2000. A torn Achilles tendon suffered in training camp ended his second year. He played in 11 games this past season.

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