Panthers' Newton suffers back fractures in crash

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Story Highlights:

  • Cam Newton involved in serious crash Tuesday afternoon
  • Newton suffered two transverse process fractures in his lower back
  • Newton stayed overnight at CMC for observation

Emergency crews rushed to the scene of a crash involving Carolina Panthers' quarterback Cam Newton just after noon Tuesday near uptown.

IMAGES: Scene of crash involving Cam Newton

Police said the two-vehicle crash happened around 12:30 p.m. on the Church Street bridge over Interstate 277 -- one block from Bank of America Stadium.

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MORE VIDEOS: See all videos releated to crash involving Cam Newton

The roof of Newton’s truck was smashed all the way down to the hood after it slammed into the road with glass shattering all over the road.

SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES: Players tweet well-wishes for Cam

“I was listening on my radio and when I looked to the left, this car had collided with the truck right here and it had flipped like four times,” said witness Tony Douglas.

Chopper 9 raw video of Cam Newton crash scene

Douglas told Channel 9 the sedan hit the wheel of Newton’s truck, and a police source confirms that Newton had swerved to try to avoid the collision, but couldn’t.

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The right corner of the sedan was heavily damaged and that driver was also taken to the hospital.

CMPD Report: Other driver named in Cam Newton crash

Once Douglas saw who was involved, he turned his attention to the Panthers’ quarterback.

“He was in a lot of pain, but he was alright. They put him on a stretcher,” Douglas said.  “I just seen Cam Newton -- the quarterback -- I was fixing to take a picture of him, but I'm shocked and I'm just glad he's alright.

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A police source said Newton appeared to be conscious and alert, but was taken to the hospital as a precaution. He will stay overnight for observation.

Panthers GM 'thankful' Newton was wearing seatbelt
       
Police haven't identified the woman who was driving the other car and said the accident report may not be finished until Wednesday.

Police released four 911 calls that came in after Newton's accident.

911 CALLS: Cam Newton involved in serious accident near uptown


The first caller breathlessly described what she was seeing from moment to moment:

“The truck is on its side, there's somebody inside,” the caller said.  “Oh no, maybe they are ejected. There's somebody on the side of the road.”
 
Another driver called in from Interstate 277 below Church Street.
   
“I'm on the highway I was rolling; I was on the highway when it flipped over," that caller said.


Newton injures back in crash

The Panthers tweeted that Newton is in fair condition and undergoing tests at Carolinas Medical Center.



RAW: Charlie Dayton says Cam Newton has 2 transverse fractures in back


In a news conference at the hospital, Panthers public relations representative Charlie Dayton said Newton has two transverse process fractures in his lower back, according to doctors. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo suffered a similar injury in the team's Oct. 27 game against Washington. Romo missed one game with the injury.

The transverse process is a small bone that sticks out of either side of the vertebrae.

Surgeon: Newton not likely able to play Sunday

Other than the fractures, Newton has no other internal injuries.
    
Team owner Jerry Richardson went to the hospital to see Newton, but the quarterback was undergoing tests at the time.

Richardson had to leave before he got a chance to see Newton.
   
Channel 9 heard some other Panthers players went to the hospital to see him too.


4th worst intersection for crashes

The intersection where the crash occurred -- South Church Street and West Hill Street near the ramp to John Belk Freeway westbound -- is listed as the fourth-worst intersection for accidents this year in Charlotte.



According to the Charlotte Department of Transportation, there have been 27 accidents at the intersection in the last three years. There were 11 crashes in 2013, seven in 2012 and nine in 2011.

Cam Newton named NFL Offensive Player of the Week

Newton has 2,800 yards passing this season with 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also has rushed for 425 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Panthers to a 4-8-1 record.

Newton, an Atlanta native, led the Auburn Tigers to a national championship.