Arizona Cardinals running back Damien Anderson could face drunken-driving and assault charges after a onevehicle crash early Saturday in Chandler left him and two of his brothers in serious condition, officials said.
Anderson and his brothers, Dedric and Billy, were all rushed to Valley hospitals, said Arizona Department of Public Safety officer Frank Valenzuela.
Damien Anderson lost control of a 2004 Ford Explorer on eastbound Interstate-10 near Ray Road around 2:30 a.m., officials said. The SUV flipped and threw Damien and Billy Anderson from the vehicle. The Explorer landed upsidedown, trapping Billy Anderson’s legs underneath, Valenzuela said.
Damien Anderson was taken to Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix where he had surgery. His brothers were taken to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix. Their injuries also required surgery.
Cardinals vice president Michael Bidwill said the team could not release details about the crash without family permission, which the team was trying to acquire Saturday night.
About an hour before the crash, DPS officers were looking for a vehicle that matched the description of the SUV driven by Anderson, Valenzuela said. Someone had reported that the vehicle was being driven erratically.
DPS officials impounded the vehicle until they could obtain a search warrant, Valenzuela said.
Investigators will try to determine whether Anderson was drunk at the time of the crash, Valenzuela said.
Anderson was an undrafted free agent out of Northwestern who signed with the Cardinals in 2002. He is the team’s third-string running back behind Marcel Shipp and Emmitt Smith as well as a key special teams player. He had 68 yards rushing and six receptions for 36 yards in 2003 for the Cardinals, who completed their season Dec. 28.
Anderson had signed a contract extension in early November. The deal, which runs through the 2006 season, paid him a signing bonus of around $620,000.