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Big Ben in motorcycle accident...
PITTSBURGH -- Steelers star Ben Roethlisberger, the youngest quarterback to lead a team to the Super Bowl championship, broke his jaw and nose in a motorcycle crash Monday in which he was not wearing a helmet.
RoethlisbergerIn July 2005, ESPN's Andrea Kremer interviewed Ben Roethlisberger shortly after the Cleveland Browns' tight end Kellen Winslow was injured in a motorcycle accident. Story
On ESPN: Outside the Lines examines Roethlisberger's misfortune as well as other athletes who were injured riding motorcycles, followed by a discussion on what activities athletes should be allowed to pursue outside their sports.
12:40 a.m. ET/9:40 p.m. PT
Roethlisberger was in serious but stable condition Monday afternoon, said Dr. Larry Jones, chief of trauma at Mercy Hospital.
The player's agent, Leigh Steinberg, described the injuries to The Associated Press and said he did not know if there was further damage.
"He was talking to me before he left for the operating room," Jones said before the operation. "He's coherent. He's making sense. He knows what happened. He knows where he is. From that standpoint, he's very stable."
ESPN.com's John Clayton has confirmed a report that Roethlisberger also suffered a 9-inch laceration to the back of his head, lost teeth and has knee injuries from hitting the pavement. A plastic surgeon has been called in.
Roethlisberger's mother, Brenda, was crying as she arrived at the hospital.
Steelers president Art Rooney said the team was "encouraged by the early reports from the medical team" at the hospital.
"I am sure Ben knows that we are praying for his complete recovery," he said.
Roethlisberger was riding this motorcycle when he collided with an automobile in Pittsburgh on Monday morning.The 24-year-old Roethlisberger was without a helmet, police said. He has said he likes to ride without one, a habit that once prompted a lecture from Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher.
Roethlisberger was between radio interviews and on his black 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa -- large, racing-style bike -- and heading toward an intersection on the edge of downtown. A silver Chrysler New Yorker traveling in the opposite direction took a left turn and collided with the motorcycle, and Roethlisberger was thrown, police said.
The other car was driven by a 62-year-old woman, police said. They didn't immediately release her name and no charges were filed.
Witness Sandra Ford was waiting at a bus stop when she said she saw the motorcycle approach. Seconds later, she said she heard a crash, saw the motorcyclist in the air and ran toward the crash scene.
"He wasn't moving and I was afraid that he had died. ... He wasn't really speaking. He seemed dazed but he was resisting the effort to make him stay down," said Ford, who didn't realize the motorcyclist was Roethlisberger.
Police spokesman Lt. Kevin Kraus said police and homicide units were investigating the crash, something standard when there is an accident with critical injuries. Kraus would give no details on the extent of Roethlisberger's injuries or if anyone else was injured.
The accident occurred on Second Avenue near the intersection of 10th Street in Pittsburgh, around 11:30 a.m. The route is one often taken in traveling to the Steelers' facility in the Southside section of the city.
Several teammates, including backup quarterback Charlie Batch, linebacker Joey Porter and safety Mike Logan, arrived at the hospital emergency room but did not comment.
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.
One of his agents, Ryan Tollner, is in route to Pittsburgh for what was supposed to be a pre-planned trip and will arrive later Monday.
In only his second year in the NFL, Roethlisberger became the youngest quarterback to lead a team to the Super Bowl championship. He was 23 when he did it last February.
Paint outlines puddles of oil and blood on the street where Roethlisberger collided with an automobile while riding a motorcycle on Monday.
Roethlisberger has said in the past that he prefers not to wear a helmet. 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, Cowher warned him about safe riding after Cleveland tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was injured in a motorcycle accident. Winslow tore knee ligaments and was lost for the season.
"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."
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."
ESPN.com football writers Len Pasquarelli and John Clayton and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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