Free-agent wide receiver Donte' Stallworth was hospitalized after a scary incident during a hot-air balloon ride with his girlfriend, but he is reportedly in stable condition.
ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss reported the following via Twitter:
Mike Reiss @MikeReiss
I'm told that Donte' Stallworth is in stable condition after sustaining burns when hot-air balloon he was in w/ girlfriend hit power lines.3/16/2013, 5:43:18 PM
A CNN report from John Branch notes that two people were injured in the accident, and a third passenger made it out of the balloon unharmed. Branch did not specify the identities of the people involved, and no report is currently available on the condition of Stallworth’s girlfriend.
According to CNN, police were notified that the basket of the balloon Stallworth and his girlfriend were in collided with power lines around 10 a.m. ET on Saturday.
The report states, “The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, with the help of Miami-Dade police, Detective Roy Rutland said.”
Stallworth has bounced around the NFL throughout his career and was most recently with the New England Patriots. He was brought in to give depth to an injury-riddled receiving corps and only played one game.
He finished the 2012 season with just one catch, but he made it count. The lone reception was a 63-yard touchdown catch against the Houston Texans, but he unfortunately sprained his ankle on the play and missed the rest of the season.
Stallworth is now looking for a home for the 2013 season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the burns he sustained will not keep him from missing next season. The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe notes that New England has interest in bringing him back:
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Despite being hospitalized after hot balloon accident, WR @DonteStallworth did not suffer serious injuries and will be able to resume career3/16/2013, 5:50:25 PM
Jeff Howe @jeffphowe
The Patriots have shown interest in re-signing Donte Stallworth, per source, but that would be on the back burner for a bit longer.3/9/2013, 3:42:55 PM
With the investigation still underway, more details are likely to be released about the cause of the accident and the extent of the injuries to those involved as the story develops.
Stallworth is unfortunately no stranger to tragedy. The 32-year-old served a 30-day jail sentence back in 2009 for DUI manslaughter after his 2005 Bentley struck a pedestrian in Miami after a night of drinking.