A former Baltimore Ravens player was the driver of the vehicle involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident in Harford County early Tuesday, Maryland state police said yesterday.
Javin Edward Hunter, a late-round pick for the Ravens in 2002, is the registered owner of the Chrysler 300 that police said struck 53-year-old Ellis G. Spencer Jr., who was riding a motorized scooter along U.S. 40 near Joppa Road, according to state police.
"During the course of the investigation, troopers have determined that Hunter was the operator of the vehicle at the time of the crash," said Sgt. Russell Newell, police spokesman.
Hunter, 27, came forward yesterday and spoke with investigators at a local state police barracks and confirmed that he owns the car, Newell said. Hunter was not detained after the exchange, and no charges were filed, police said.
Police have not released the car, and the investigation is continuing, Newell said.
After investigators complete an accident report, they will turn it over to the Harford County state's attorney. It could be as long as 60 days before it is determined whether charges will be filed, police said.
The black Chrysler, which has Michigan tags, was westbound in the left lane on U.S. 40 at a high rate of speed about 5 a.m., police said. After passing another vehicle, the Chrysler swerved onto the shoulder, where it struck Spencer's scooter.
The driver did not stop, police said. Witnesses provided police with the license number and said two men were in the car as it sped west on the highway.
Spencer, who lived in a White Marsh motel, died later that day at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air.
Court documents show that Hunter was convicted of reckless driving and speeding in Virginia Beach, Va., in 2002.
The Ravens drafted Hunter as a receiver out of Notre Dame in the sixth round of the 2002 draft, the 206th overall pick. The native of Orchard Lake, Mich., finished that season with five catches for 35 yards and was a starter in two games.
The NFL suspended Hunter for the final four games of the season for using a banned dietary substance.
The following preseason, Hunter tore an Achilles' tendon and was placed on the injured reserved list.
During the summer of 2004, the team, faced with a glut of wide receivers, tried switching Hunter to defensive back.
"I came in [Notre Dame] with a lot of expectations, and things didn't work out there," Hunter said at the time. "Then I get drafted here, and things haven't gone my way. But I know things are going to look up."
Hunter was released by the team in September 2004.