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Donte Stallworth injured in hot-air balloon crash

March 16, 2013|By Dan Loumena
  • Receiver Donte Stallworth scores on a 63-yard pass play against the Houston Texans in the only game he played for the New England Patriots last season.
Receiver Donte Stallworth scores on a 63-yard pass play against the Houston… (Elise Amendola / Associated…)

Donte Stallworth, the free-agent wide receiver who played for the New England Patriots last season, is recovering from severe burns he sustained when a hot-air balloon that was carrying him and two other passengers crashed into power lines in Homestead, Fla.

Stallworth's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said the 10-year veteran has been hospitalized but did not sustain any career-threatening or permanent injuries.

“He's going to be OK," Rosenhaus said. "He has some burns, but he's going to be fine.

"He will be able to continue his NFL career. The injuries are not to the extent they will jeopardize his career.”

One of the passengers was reportedly Stallworth's girlfriend, but Rosenhaus would not say whether she was hurt.

A Miami-Dade Police spokesman confirmed that three passengers were in the hot-air balloon and that two were taken to a trauma center while the third was not injured.

Stallworth, 32, only played one game last season for the Patriots, making a 63-yard reception, because of an ankle injury. His last full season of service was in 2007 with the Patriots, when he had 46 receptions for 697 yards and three touchdowns. He's never had more than eight touchdowns or 945 yards receiving in a season.

The former first-round draft choice of the New Orleans Saints played for four other teams between his 2007 and 2012 seasons with the Patriots.

Stallworth pleaded guilty in January 2009 to DUI manslaughter after he killed a pedestrian, 59-year-old Mario Reyes, in South Florida following a night of clubbing in March 2008. Stallworth spent 24 days in jail upon conviction and is still serving an eight-year probation term.

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