Patriots wide receiver Stallworth burned in hot-air balloon crash


MIAMI — NFL wide receiver Donte’ Stallworth suffered “severe burns” when a hot-air balloon carrying him and his girlfriend hit power lines in South Miami-Dade early Saturday, his lawyer told The Miami Herald.

His girlfriend was also injured, although her condition was unknown. The balloon operator was not hurt.

The New England Patriots’ receiver, an unrestricted free agent, and the woman were taken to the Trauma Center at Kendall Regional Hospital, according to Miami-Dade police.

The crash happened about 10 a.m. at Southwest 296th Street and 217th Avenue. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

The football player’s lawyer, Christopher Lyons, said Stallworth is in stable condition in the intensive care unit. He declined to talk about his girlfriend’s condition.

The accident comes almost exactly four years after Stallworth was involved in another tragic accident in South Florida, where he maintains a home.

In March 2009, Stallworth hit and killed 59-year-old crane pedestrian Mario Reyes on the MacArthur Causeway in an early morning car crash. Blood tests showed Stallworth, who was driving his Bentley home after an evening at a nightclub, had a blood-alcohol level of .126, well above the legal limit.

He pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter and spent 24 days in jail.

Stallworth was ordered to spend the next decade under house arrest and on probation. The crash was caught on surveillance video, and Stallworth admitted to Miami Beach police that he was behind the wheel.

The speedy wide receiver, then with the Cleveland Browns, later resumed his career with Baltimore, Washington and last year, the New England Patriots.