WESTWEGO, La. – Chris Henry's fiancée wept as she spoke about the Cincinnati Bengals receiver at his funeral Tuesday, and she said while she may have helped steer him out of trouble, he changed her life.
Loleini Tonga, fiancée of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry, holds their daugther, Seini, before a memorial service for Henry in Westwego, La., Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009. Chris Henry, who grew up in nearby Belle Chasse, died Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009, after falling out of the back of a pickup truck driven by Tonga.
Henry, 26, was killed after he fell out of a pickup truck bed being driven by his fiance Loleini Tonga during what police described as a domestic dispute. Police are investigating, but no charges have been filed.
"Can't nobody feel what I'm feeling right now. ... We loved each other very much. People say I helped change his life. No. He changed mine," said Tonga, wearing sunglasses and pausing between sentences. "We were supposed to get married in three months, but I'm going to wait until I see him again."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Henry's teammates were among the hundreds who packed the New Orleans Hornets practice facility for the funeral. The Bengals wore round lapels with Henry's No. 15.
Henry died Thursday, a day after he fell out of the truck in North Carolina, where he had been recovering from a broken forearm that ended his season. Police said Henry and his fiancee got into an argument at the Tonga family home and she drove away on a curvy residential street near downtown Charlotte. Henry jumped into the truck's bed.
A witness has said he heard Henry say, "If you take off, I'm going to jump off the truck and kill myself." A 911 caller told a dispatcher she saw a shirtless man wearing a cast "beating on the back of this truck window."