UFC (former) Light Heavyweight Champ Jon Jones involved in a hit and run car accident; and by run, I really mean run – reports are that he actually ran from the accident scene. According to witnesses, Jones ran from the car accident, but quickly returned to the scene to grab a handful of cash and then ran off again. Not the brightest thing when you are one of the most recognizable MMA fighters in the world, and one of the most recognizable athletes in Albuquerque, New Mexico. According to the criminal complaint, Jones ran a red light, crashing his SUV into two vehicles (See picture of Jones smashed SUV after the crash), drugs found in his vehicle and injured a pregnant woman driver in the car accident. Lawyer’ed up Bones ended up turning himself in 24 hours after the accident – I guess those Reebok Pump sneakers that Jones (used to) endorsed really do a good job when running from the police.
Jon Jones hit and run car accident is just another in a series of bizarre incidents for Jon Jones. Back in 2012 Jon Jones wrapped his Bentley around a telephone pole and was charged with DWI. In 2014, after his most recent UFC fight, Jones tested positive for cocaine, did one night in rehab, and declared himself clean. All these issues likely stem from a drug problem for Jones, and are the very reason that we have laws against driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol – just don’t do it. When you are as privileged as Jon Jones is, hire a driver, get uber or a limo, but driving under the influence is just plain dumb. Running from the scene of the accident is even dumber, causing Felony charges to be filed (See the full pdf of the Criminal Complaint against Jon Jones).
The fallout for Jon Jones hit and run accident at this point is the UFC has stripped him of his championship, suspended him from competing in the UFC indefinitely, Reebok has dropped him as an endorser, he faces criminal charges and likely civil lawsuits for property damage and personal injury – not to mention his likely drug problem and the bad press he continues to receive. Jones has gone from greatest pound-for-pound UFC fighter in the world to pariah in short form. There was the insightful article on deadspin “How Jon Bones Jones Became the Baddest Motherf…. on Earth” which painted a picture of a young person struggling with fame, perception and expectations – adding drugs to the mix has made the situation combustible. So what happens now, Jones has already retained a criminal defense lawyer to deal with the charges against him, he certainly needs help with his substance abuse issues, and should hire a PR firm to deal with this crisis. The personal injury claim that is likely to follow will likely be covered by auto insurance, but the extent of the injuries will dictate – and the extended to the unborn baby of the pregnant woman who Jones hit.
The only good that can come of this situation is that Jon Jones realizes that he has a problem and get help. As a lawyer, and UFC fan, I find this situation horrifying, yet fascinating. I hope that justice is served, the injured parties be made whole and for Jones to get the help he needs.