Broncos player, a CCU alum, struck by woman in stolen vehicle in police chase in Denver

Broncos player, a CCU alum, struck by woman in stolen vehicle in police chase in Denver
De'Angelo Henderson's photo from his time as a CCU Chanticleer. (Source: CCU Athletics Department)
De'Angelo Henderson's photo from his time as a CCU Chanticleer. (Source: CCU Athletics Department)

DENVER, CO (KUSA/WMBF) Broncos running back and former Coastal Carolina University football player De'Angelo Henderson was briefly hospitalized with minor injuries Saturday night after he was an accidental victim of a high-speed police chase involving a woman driving a stolen vehicle, NBC affiliate KUSA reports.

"I don't know if lucky is the word,'' Henderson said in an interview with 9News. "Blessed. There's just so many different words.''

Henderson was an accidental hero as his Jeep, which was struck with such force it flipped over on its top, helped stop the chase. He was headed to Famous Dave's BBQ in Parker to pick up some takeout for him and his fiance. He was on Jordan crossing the intersection of Carlson.

"At the last second I saw a truck plow into my passenger side,'' Henderson said. "T-boned, and then everybody who was talking to the police said I was airborne and I flipped in the air and I landed on another car and I rolled after that. I was very fortunate. Very blessed.''

Henderson posted a photo to Instagram of the crash - the photo shows a teal baseball cap, the iconic color of CCU, but it is not clear whether or not it was a CCU hat.

Rainbow Sunset Espinoza, 37, was arrested and is facing 11 charges related to her actions Saturday night, including stealing a vehicle, driving recklessly, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, evading police, failing to turn on her headlights, driving a car without plates, driving while her license was revoked, running red lights, criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools and second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Douglas County Detention Center.

After Espinoza allegedly T-boned Henderson's Jeep, her stolen vehicle hit a pole, ending the chase. To get out of his upside vehicle, Henderson said he unbuckled his seat belt, scooted to the roof and with the door jammed, shouldered his way out.

As he got out, the officers had guns drawn as there was a crime scene. Henderson was escorted away from the crime scene to the back of a police car.

"Did not get a look [at the person who hit him],'' he said. "I was more in shock of everything that happened that I didn't think about looking.''

Henderson, who played briefly for the Broncos last season as a sixth-round rookie, was checked out at the hospital and released when tests revealed no internal bleeding. He was one of four people hospitalized with injuries from the crash that occurred in Parker a few minutes before 8 p.m. Saturday.

Harrison, also a running back for the CCU Chanticleers, played from 2012 to 2016. He graduated in the spring of 2015 with a degree in recreation and sports management. Also that year, he was named an All-American, Big South Offensive Players of the year, and first team All-Big South, according to his stats page on the CCU Athletics Department's website.

KUSA contributed to this report.

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