Troopers: Panthers' linebacker Shaq Thompson involved in head-on crash

WEDDINGTON, N.C. — The Highway Patrol ticketed Carolina Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson for crossing the center line and causing an accident that injured former Duke quarterback Anthony Boone.

The head-on collision that happened about 7 a.m. Sunday on Potter Road near Weddington in Union County startled neighbors, many of them just waking up.

“They were sitting there almost dead-center in the middle of the highway, just nose-to-nose, just ‘bam!’” said Gary Pressley, who heard the collision from his living room and said he knew immediately what had happened.

The Highway Patrol told Eyewitness News that Thompson was driving home and was within sight of his driveway when he swerved across the center line.

Boone was driving toward Charlotte and when he saw Thompson’s SUV coming toward him, he tried unsuccessfully to avoid the collision.

“He was hurting. You could tell he was hurting. He had a deep laceration on his wrist,” said Rob Swenson, who was one of the first on the scene and treated Boone while they waited for an ambulance.

Swenson said he did not know that either driver was a football player but noted Thompson was walking around but appeared dazed.

The Highway Patrol said Thompson had been drinking but that he was not at the legal limit of 0.08 and would not be charged with an alcohol-related offense.

A friend who answered the door at Thompson’s home Monday said Thompson was not home but that he only had some pain in his forearm. Thompson, who was well enough to play at a charity golf tournament Monday, was not available for comment.

The Panthers said Thompson had told them he had been in an accident, but did not comment further.

A Duke spokesman said out of respect for Boone’s family they would not be commenting on his condition.

Thompson was drafted 25th overall by the Panthers in 2015. He played college football at Washington.

Thompson had 50 total tackles and one sack last season with the Panthers.

Boone was a standout at Weddington High School and played quarterback at Duke University. Boone went undrafted at the 2015 NFL draft.

He briefly signed with the Detroit Lions before being released.

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