Her name is Ariel, and she is five years old. She’s fighting for her life because Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid, son of Andy Reid, smashed into the car she was sitting in. Reid told officers he had been drinking.
“Ariel, 5 years old, suffered swelling in and bleeding in and around the brain. She is in critical condition and hasn’t woken since the crash,” read a GoFundMe page set up by Tiffany Verhulst, who identifies herself as a cousin of Ariel’s mother.
The GoFundMe goes on to say “her mother is a single mom of [three] having to deal with this on her own due to COVID restrictions. Ariel will be in the hospital for the foreseeable future, (and) this is set up for the hospital bills and weeks of missed work that will come.”
Atop the GoFundMe page, there is a sweet photo of a smiling Ariel as well as one of her in a hospital bed, heavily bandaged and bruised, and attached to all types of tubes and machines (see below from GoFundMe page).
According to the police, Britt Reid told authorities he had “two to three drinks” the night he smashed into the car Ariel was sitting in, and that he has an Adderall prescription. An officer at the scene noted the smell of alcohol on Britt Reid’s breath, and that his eyes were ‘bloodshot.” According to the police warrant, Britt Reid had blood drawn to determine alcohol toxicity levels. He has yet to be charged with a crime.
Neither the Chiefs or NFL have made any public statements directly about five-year-old Ariel — who recently celebrated a birthday — and her fight to stay alive. With the Chiefs making just this statement Friday:
The organization has been made aware of a multi-vehicle accident involving Outside Linebackers Coach, Britt Reid. We are in the process of gathering information, and we will have no further comment at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.
Britt Reid is not coaching in the Super Bowl today. He’s in Kansas City, and the investigation into the incident is ongoing. Kansas City Police told the local ABC affiliate that it could potentially take a few weeks before they conclude their investigation.
To put it bluntly, I’m sad. I’m sad for Ariel. I’m sad for her family. I’m sad for Britt Reid, who clearly has some serious problems that need professional attention. I’m sad for Andy Reid, who has lost one child to addiction, and the other is fighting a similar battle. I’m also furious. I’m furious that a person that clearly isn’t struggling for money wouldn’t spend the minimal cost associated with getting home safe, as opposed to choosing blatant irresponsible, reckless, and dangerous behavior. Because Britt Reid chose to drive, a family is hanging in the balance as they hope and wait for improvement from Ariel.
Don’t drink and drive. I cannot stress this enough – do not drink and drive. Please. I beg you.
Updated Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 at 9:10 a.m.: After the Super Bowl, a 31-9 win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chiefs coach Andy Reid addressed the accident, and Ariel’s condition directly. “My heart goes out to all those that were involved in the accident, in particular the family with the little girl who is fighting for her life,” he said. “Just from a human standpoint, my heart bleeds for everyone involved in that.”
Ariel’s GoFundMe page has so far raised over $300,000.