Posted on 31 May 2010.
Gary Coleman’s parents, Sue and Willie Coleman, want the “Diff’rent Strokes” actor’s wife, Shannon Price, to tell them how he fell and received his head injury. Â They insist they aren’t angry or accusing Coleman’s young wife of anything, but they would like to know what happened when the 42-year-old Coleman fell. Â The want to know because it was that fall that led to the traumatic head injury that is believed to have caused the brain hemorrhage that generated the coma in which Gary Coleman slipped into a day after he fell, a coma that he never came out of, a coma that forced the doctors to put the young actor on life support until his wife, Shannon Price, made the decision to discontinue the artificial sustenance of his life.
“We would’ve loved to have been there by his side at the hospital,” Sue Coleman told People magazine, “to let him know we love him before he passed away. Â This is a shock to us. Â We loved Gary very much.”
But the Colemans could not get a message to Shannon Price. Â They attempted to get through via the Santaquin Police Department Â on the day the “Diff’rent Strokes” actor was taken off life support.
It had been years, over a decade, since the Colemans had talked with their son. Â They were estranged, having been locked in a bitter lawsuit for years in the early 90s. Â Gary Coleman had sued his parents and ex-manager, thinking they had stolen the fortune he had amassed while a child actor. Â In 1993, the court agreed and awarded Coleman $1.3 million.
“We’re not pointing fingers at anyone, but we need to know exactly what happened,” Sue said to People. “We’re not angry. We’re just concerned. Did our son fall down the stairs? Did he fall in the bathtub? We need to have some closure on our son’s life.”
And the reason Sue and Willie Coleman are concerned is that there has been nearly no information about what happened. Shannon Price, Gary Coleman’s 24-year-old wife, has said nothing about the actor’s death other than a simple statement that Gary was taken to the hospital because of “medical problems.”
Janet Frank, spokesperson for the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, the facility where Gary Coleman would ultimately die, said that Coleman had arrived at the hospital after an accident at his home. Â She gave no more information other than to say that the investigation into the cause of death was still ongoing. Shannon Price requested that no further details be divulged.
Which is what Shannon Price told Gary Coleman’s lawyer…
Santaquin Police Chief Dennis Howard told People, “There was absolutely nothing suspicious about [Coleman’s] death. There is no [criminal] investigation going on.”
And there may never be. Â If the cause of death is consistent with natural causes or with the circumstances that caused the traumatic injury to Gary Coleman’s head, then a criminal investigation will not be necessary. Â If the circumstance are inconsistent, then the Santaquin Police Department might find it necessary to launch a criminal investigation.
But, with what is currently known, which is that Gary Coleman fell and suffered a head injury, such a determination cannot be made.
Meanwhile, Gary Coleman’s parents, who adopted the “Diff’rent Strokes” actor when he was an infant, simply want an answer to their questions. Â They believe that their son’s wife, Shannon Price, can give them answers to those questions. How did it happen? Â What exactly happened? Â How did their son die?
The Colemans’ curiosity and need for closure notwithstanding, Shannon Price and Gary Coleman’s marriage was volatile, a matter of public record. Police were called to their Santaquin home on more than a couple occasions. Â Both were arrested — at different times — on charges of domestic violence. Â The history alone should prompt at least a cursory examination into the matter.
Shannon Price and her family’s silence has not been helpful. Â A simple explanation of how the “Diff’rent Strokes” actor was injured would suffice.
Just what exactly happened at the home of Gary Coleman on Wednesday, May 28?