[AMERICANS ABROAD] On Saturday, Jacques Faty, Charlie Davies' Sochaux teammate and close friend, came forward and said that he, and not Davies, was driving Faty's Audi Q7 at 125 mph early in the morning on Oct. 3 when they were stopped by French police and Davies was cited for speeding.
The incident took place almost a year after the car accident near Washington, D.C., that almost took Davies' life and killed another passenger.
According to French newspaper Le Progres, Davies was stopped on the A36 freeway near the town of Dole in eastern France and had his driver's license confiscated on the spot. The maximum speed limit in France is 78 miles per hour.
After Davies called Faty in Senegal, where he is with that country's national team for African Cup of Nations qualifying, to tell him news of the incident had been reported in Le Progres, Faty the called the paper's regional bureau near where they were stopped and said he was at fault.
"I panicked," he said. "I said to myself that with his American nationality, Charlies was going to have less problems."
Faty was born in France and captained France to the 2001 Under-17 World Cup title but now represents Senegal at the senior level.
Faty was driving to Paris, so Davies, who was flying Boston during Sochaux's international fixture break, asked for a ride. He said he was lying down in the passenger's seat and didn't realize how fast Faty was driving.
Davies told the Associated Press that he reluctantly switched seats with Faty in their tinted car.
"I was like, 'Jacques, I don't think I can do this.' He was like, 'No, trust me, it'll be easy. If you don't, I'll go to prison and you'll be stranded here,'" Davies said.
Faty -- mistakenly -- thought his license was still suspended and would be jailed for driving with a suspended license.
"That's not possible for me to go 120 mph on the road after an accident and think everything will be fine," Davies said. "If a kid survives such a serious accident and then almost exactly a year later is driving at a reckless speed, it's like, 'This can't be serious.' ... If someone has a second chance like I do, to take advantage of something like that, it's not something I could do. I learned too much from whole experience to let something like that happen."
French prosecutor Virginie Deneux told the Le Progres that switching seats
and making a false statement to the police were criminal offenses. According to Le Progres, Davies and Faty could face six months in prison and a 7,500-euro fine ($10,400).
A rising star of the U.S. national team who had scored four goals and recorded two assists in 17 games for the USA by age 23, Davies was slated to play a key role in the U.S. attack at the 2010 World Cup. But he did not recover in time for the World Cup. Nor has he been able to return to first team action with Sochaux, although he is playing with its reserve team.
The driver of the accident that took place on Oct. 13, 2009, escaped with minor injuries. Passenger Ashley J. Roberta, 22, died. Davies required seven operations. His injuries included a lacerated bladder, fractured right tibia and femur, a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, a fractured elbow and face fractures.