J.R. Smith’s passenger dies after crash
NEPTUNE, N.J. ” A man who was thrown from Denver Nuggets’ guard J.R. Smith’s sport utility vehicle when it overturned last weekend died Monday night in the hospital, state police said.
Andre Bell, 21, of East Orange, N.J., was sitting in the back seat of the vehicle Smith was driving when it went through a stop sign, collided with another car and flipped over at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in Millstone Township.
Bell, who was in a coma, died from head injuries at 6 p.m. at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, said state police spokesman Sgt. Stephen Jones.
Smith, 21, who was also thrown from the sport vehicle, remained at Jersey Shore on Monday with an injured left shoulder and numerous scratches, Jones said.
Neither Smith nor Bell were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, he said.
Nuggets spokesman Eric Sebastian said he did not know when Smith might be discharged.
“I think it’s too early to say,” Sebastian said. “From everything we hear, he’s going to be OK.”
Sebastian said he did not know if Smith would miss any training, but added, “We didn’t hear anything that would indicate his career would be jeopardized in any way.”
Smith has been issued two traffic tickets for failure to stop at stop sign and improper passing, Jones said. Both carry fines, though the amount was not immediately available.
A third person in Smith’s car and the driver of the car he hit had only minor injuries.
Smith had been a star at Lakewood High School and St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark before being the 18th overall pick of New Orleans in the 2004 NBA draft. He averaged 13.0 points in 63 games for Denver this past season.
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