More than two years after the crash that claimed the life of promising Bellator MMA featherweight Jordan Parsons, the driver of the vehicle that fatally struck him pleaded guilty to three counts: DUI manslaughter, leaving the scene of a crashing involving death, and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
It was just after midnight on May 1, 2016 when Parsons was struck by Dennis Michael Wright’s 2013 Range Rover while crossing the street at the intersection of South Federal Highway and Lindell Boulevard. Police estimated the vehicle was traveling between 100-120mph at the time of the crash. Wright fled the scene and tried to get the vehicle repaired. When a bodyshop turned him away, he hid it in storage. Thanks to an anonymous tipoff, police located the vehicle and arrested Wright almost a week after crash.
Parsons was treated at Delray Beach Medical Center and underwent multiple surgeries, but died on May 4.
Parsons had a 12-2-0 MMA record. He trained with the Blackzilians and joined Bellator MMA in 2014. He was 2-1 with the promotion, with a fight against Adam Piccolotti scheduled for Bellator 154, two weeks after the crash.
Fighters who mourned Parsons’s passing included Jeremy Stephens, who posted on Facebook: “It’s no mistake the impact you made on everyone and the positive messages about life you left us to read.” Frankie Edgar said he was “sending prayers to him and his family. Terrible news.” And Anthony “Rumble” Johnson posted, “We miss you already! Say hi to my pop for me and all of the other legends in heaven. Keep that smile glowing.” Amanda Nunes, Colby Covington, Cris Cyborg, and many others took to social media to mourn the popular and talented fighter, who was only twenty-five.
Wright is due to be sentenced on Aug. 29. As part of his plea deal he will get 10 years incarceration if he “tells the truth about his alcohol consumption and actions on April 30/31, including the speed he was driving when he struck and killed (Parsons) and his actions from the time he struck (Parsons) until the time he turned himself in.” In addition, once released he will be required to to carry around a photo of Parsons at all times, and speak at local schools about the dangers of drinking and driving.