Two Belmont students said they were threatened by former Tennessee Titans kicker Rob Bironas on the night of his death on Sept. 20, according to a report in The Tennessean.
Connor Fraley, 20, a junior, told The Tennessean he was traveling in a pickup truck with three other Belmont students behind the white SUV of Bironas on Battery Lane when they noticed a burning smell coming from the SUV.
Fraley said he warned Bironas about the smell after which Bironas threatened to kill all four students in the vehicle.
“His window was down, and we pulled up and I said, “Hey man, just a heads up, something’s burning from your exhaust. Your exhaust smells horrible, just wanted to let you know,” Fraley told The Tennessean. “He looked over at me and said ‘I’m going to kill everybody in your (expletive) vehicle.’ It was so random, so bizarre I was like, ‘What?’ And he said the exact same thing again.”
The incident took place at the intersection of Battery Lane and Franklin Road, not far from where Bironas later crashed.
The students did not know it was Bironas until morning after when Fraley’s roommate texted him a photo of the football player.
“As soon as I saw that face, I know for a fact that it was Rob Bironas in that vehicle chasing us,” Fraley said in the published report.
After the initial threat, Bironas proceeded to follow them in a high-speed chase on Franklin Road. Another student was driving the truck with Fraley in the front seat and two female students in the back seat.
“The girls in the back seat were starting to freak out because he was swerving on the road in between the lanes, all over the place,” Fraley told The Tennessean. “We had no idea who he was and why he was trying to harm us. It was a fight or flight situation, and unfortunately, we had to take flight at about 110 miles per hour. It was very scary.”
During the chase, Bironas attempted to sideswipe the vehicle near the Thompson Lane overpass and missed the vehicle by a foot, according to the report. The students eventually lost Bironas near Acklen Avenue on Belmont’s campus.
Fraley said he spoke with a 911 dispatcher for nearly the length of the incident and met with Metro police officers later that night on campus.
The driver of the vehicle, also a Belmont student, corroborated Fraley’s story in The Tennessean.
The full report by Titans beat reporter Jim Wyatt can be accessedhere.