Roethlisberger Hurt in Motorcycle Crash
By JOE MANDAK
Associated Press Writer
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has said he dislikes wearing a motorcycle helmet, was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash and taken to a hospital Monday.
Dr. Larry Jones, chief of trauma at Mercy Hospital, said Roethlisberger was in serious but stable condition in an operating room Monday afternoon. He was talking before he went into surgery, Jones said.
A pool of blood was found at the accident site.
"He was alert and conscious," said Ernie Roman, shift commander for the Allegheny County emergency service.
The crash happened at an intersection at the edge of downtown.
A silver Chrysler New Yorker with damage to the front passenger fender was removed and Roethlisberger's bike was loaded onto a flatbed truck. Police were detouring traffic around the crash scene as onlookers and media gathered.
In only his second year in the NFL, Roethlisberger helped guide the Steelers to the Super Bowl championship last season.
Calls to Roethlisberger's agent, Leigh Steinberg, were not immediately returned.
The 24-year-old Roethlisberger has said in the past that he prefers not to wear a helmet when riding his motorcycle. He has pointed out Pennsylvania's 35-year-old state law requiring helmets to be worn was amended to make helmets optional.
In May 2005, Steelers coach Bill Cowher lectured Roethlisberger on the dangers of riding without a helmet.
"He talked about being a risk-taker and I'm not really a risk-taker. I'm pretty conservative and laid back, but the big thing is to just be careful," Roethlisberger said at the time. "I'll just continue to be careful. I told him we don't ever ride alone, we always ride in a group of people, and I think it makes it even more safe."
In May 2005, Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. tore knee ligaments in a motorcycle accident and was lost for the season.
Roethlisberger continued to ride after Winslow's accident and that angered Terry Bradshaw, who quarterbacked the Steelers to four Super Bowl victories during the 1970s.
Visiting the Steelers' training camp last summer, Bradshaw remarked: "Ride it when you retire."