*More details surrounding the sudden death of Gary Coleman continue to trickle out – the latest being a 911 call that reveals his panicked wife initially hesitated to help him after he suffered an apparent head injury that left him bloodied. [Scroll down to listen.]
Another revelation today suggests that his wife, Shannon Price, was no longer married to Coleman at the time of his death – which calls into question her authority to remove the actor from life support.
In the 911 call, Price tells the operator that Coleman was stricken while preparing her something to eat the evening of May 26 downstairs in their Santaquin, Utah, home.
“He just got home, I heard this big bang, I went downstairs. Blood everywhere,” she says. “I don’t know if he’s okay. I’m not down there right now because I have a fever, if I get stressed out I’m going to faint.”
Price says, “He fell. His head is bloody. There’s blood all over the floor. I don’t know what happened.” The operator asks, “Is there any way you can go down there at all?” Price replies, “I’ll try, I don’t know, I mean…”
When the operator asks if anyone else is there who can go downstairs, Price says, “No,” and adds, “I’ve just been kind of sick. I don’t want to be traumatized right now.”
She eventually makes it downstairs, where Gary is still conscious during the call. But Shannon says he’s “like, not with it.” Price then is heard saying, “Gary, are you okay?” and telling him, “Stay where you are” and “Don’t move, Gary.”
The operator says help is on the way. “I just can’t be here with the blood,” Price says. “I’m sorry, I can’t do it. I can’t. … There’s blood all over and I can’t do anything.”
When asked why she didn’t drive Coleman to the hospital, Price says, “I can’t drive” because she’s been sick with a fever. “I can’t do anything right now.”
The operator asks Price “to at least give him a towel” so Coleman can apply pressure to his wound. Price replies, “Yeah, I’m just panicked. I don’t know what to do … I just don’t want him to die. I’m freaking out.”
Next, she’s heard telling Coleman, “You have to put this on your head … Keep pressure on this, okay, hold this.” She tells Coleman, “You need to sit down. Sit down! Gary, sit down!”
“He’s lethargic, I can’t really help him. I just need help quick,” Price is heard saying.
She tells the operator just moments before emergency crews arrive: “I’m gagging, I got blood on myself, I can’t deal.”
The police officer who responded to Coleman’s home claims he observed “nothing suspicious” about the scene, according to the police report.
Officer K Johnson from the Santaquin PD in Utah writes that when he first arrived to the home, Gary’s wife met him at the front door. The officer claims Shannon directed him to Gary — but wouldn’t accompany him to her injured husband because she didn’t want to “see the blood on the floor.”
The officer also notes when he spoke to Gary — who was sitting on the ground with a towel on the back of his head — the actor couldn’t remember how he injured his head.
According to the report, Shannon told officers that the two had been in bed … when she asked Gary to go downstairs and fix her some food. Shannon claimed Gary fell shortly after leaving the room.
Eventually, the officer claims Gary was able to walk — with assistance — to a waiting ambulance which transported him to the hospital.
Gary — who ended up suffering a brain hemorrhage — passed away two days later after Shannon decided to take him off life support. He was 42. An official cause of death is still pending an investigation.
Meanwhile, Coleman’s former lawyer is now saying that the pair weren’t even legally married when he died.
“I can confirm they’ve been divorced since August 12, 2008,” attorney Randy Kester, who handled the divorce, tells People. “At the time of Gary’s death, they were not married. I have no knowledge if they were ever remarried.”
The discovery comes after documents were posted on ETOnline Wednesday showing the couple had divorced, though their names were listed as John Doe and Jane Doe.
“Gary wanted me to keep their divorce private,” Kester says, “but now that it’s been made public, I’m compelled to say it’s all true.”
The revelation calls into question whether Price, 24, had the authority to make any medical decisions on the actor’s behalf – as well as any future decisions, such as funeral arrangements or those concerning his estate.
“We’re definitely concerned about this and we’re looking into what exactly happened here,” says Janet Frank, spokeswoman for the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center where Coleman died. “Shannon certainly portrayed herself as his wife to our staff and doctors. We assumed she was telling the truth. We can’t comment on specific details in Mr. Coleman’s case, but in general, any patient on life support is thoroughly evaluated medically before life support is ended.”
Adds attorney Kester: “It’s possible that Gary gave Shannon the authority in writing at the hospital to make medical decisions for him, but whether he did, I don’t know.”
Reached for comment regarding the divorce, Gary’s mother, Sue Coleman, said: “It’s too early for us to comment on this. Of course we’re concerned, but we need to find out more information.”
The Colemans, whom the actor had stopped communicating with approximately 15 years ago, say that Price’s brother has reached out to them regarding funeral plans, “but it’s still unclear what [the Prices] have in mind, but of course we’d love to be there.”