Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered two fractured in his back Tuesday but escaped without other injury, after a vehicle he was driving crashed around 12:30 p.m. ET. The truck reportedly flipped several times on a bridge in central Charlotte, where Church Street passes over Interstate 277.
"The severity of Newton's injuries was not immediately available but witnesses told Channel 9 that Newton's truck flipped four times," WSOC Channel 9 TV reports.
We'll update as news comes in.
Update at 4:20 p.m. ET: Fractures In QB's Lower Back
Saying that Newton is in "fair condition," the Carolina Panthers have announced that he has "two transverse process fractures in his lower back and no further internal injuries."
The transverse process is a small bone that extends sideways from the spinal column, connecting muscles and ligaments to the spine. Fractures to the bone often take 6 weeks to heal fully.
The Panthers' official staff writer, Max Henson, said in a tweet, "From what I've heard, Newton's back injury is comparable to what Dallas QB Tony Romo suffered."
Romo sustained two transverse process fractures during an Oct. 27 game; he missed one week before returning to the Cowboys' lineup.
Update at 1:50 p.m. ET: Newton Seen Conscious After Wreck
A photo tweeted by The Charlotte Observer shows an alert Newton holding himself upright as he lies on the sidewalk near the accident. In fact, as an emergency worker crouches near him, it seems that he's smiling.
The newspaper reports that the quarterback's injuries are not life-threatening.
Our original post continues:
The wreck occurred just a block away from the Panthers' home stadium. Photos from the scene show a dark-colored truck sitting sideways on the bridge, its cabin roof partially collapsed. It appears that the passenger side of the vehicle may have taken the worst punishment.
An ambulance took Newton, 25, to the hospital after emergency workers placed him on a stretcher.
Photos from local media show that another vehicle, a passenger car, also sustained damage.
The Panthers have issued a statement:
"We are closely monitoring the situation of a car wreck involving Cam Newton. We will have more information at an appropriate time."