Former University of Texas football star Cedric Benson had a blood alcohol level of 0.02 and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in his system at the time of a crash that killed him and his motorcycle passenger in August, according to an autopsy and toxicology report released by the Travis County Medical Examiners office Wednesday.
The legal blood alcohol limit while driving in Texas is 0.08. THC is the intoxicating agent in marijuana and other cannabinoid products.
Experts interviewed by the American-Statesman said that it is difficult to determine from the autopsy when THC entered Benson’s system and whether it played a role in the crash.
Benson, 36, was killed in a fiery crash in August on RM 2222 near Mount Bonnell Road after colliding with a van. He was traveling east at a high rate of speed when authorities said the van entered 2222 after checking for oncoming traffic. His passenger, Aamna Najam, 27, of Houston also was killed. She had a doctorate in audiology from UT.
Austin police have said that they are still investigating the crash and that the result of the autopsy would be a critical piece of evidence. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission also has said that it is possible that they would open a full investigation based on the results of the autopsy into whether Benson may have been served alcohol.
Benson had posted a picture on Instagram that night of his motorcycle and captioned it “My Saturday evening.”
His death stunned many of his longtime fans, leading to an outpouring of condolences on social media.