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Ben Roethlisberger Injured in Motorcycle Accident

By June 12, 2006

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Ben RoethlisbergerSteelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is undergoing surgery at Mercy Hospital after suffering an apparent head injury in a motorcycle accident late this morning on Second Avenue near the Armstrong Tunnels. Larry Jones, Chief of Trauma at Mercy Hospital, says that Roethlisberger is in serious but stable condition.

According to published reports, Ben Roethlisberger was traveling on Second Avenue when a vehicle coming in the opposite direction turned left in front of him. Roethlisberger was unable to stop in time and hit the passenger side door and windshield of the vehicle before plowing head first into the pavement. According to witnesses at the scene, as reported by local stations WPXI and KDKA, Ben was not wearing a helmet and appeared to have head and facial injuries. The Post-Gazette have also reported police confirmation that Ben was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

The car involved in the accident was a New Yorker with Maine plates, driven by Martha Fleishman, 62, of Squirrel Hill. "She really feels terrible about what happened, and we certainly wish him a speedy recovery," her husband, Martin Fleishman, told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. The accident is under investigation and no charges have been filed.

Ben underwent several hours of surgery this afternoon to repair a shattered jaw, an injury that takes approximately 7 weeks to heal. WTAE is reporting that Roethlisberger suffered a broken jaw, broke his left sinus cavity, suffered a 9-inch laceration to the back of his head, lost many teeth and has severe injuries to his knees from hitting the pavement. Other reports also indicate that he broke his nose. The extent of his knee injuries are unknown.

Ben Roethlisberger has often said that he prefers not to wear a helmet when riding his motorcycle, and points out the fact that Pennsylvania doesn't seem to think it is necessary given that they repealed their 35-year-old helmet law in September 2003. Former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw has openly criticized him for this decision, saying "ride it when you retire." But whether or not you think he's stupid for not wearing a helmet, what matters now is that he makes it through this OK.

In typical Pittsburgh style, the news of Ben's accident has spread like wildfire. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has devoted at least 10 reporters to the story, and the Web site of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review has been unavailable for periods of time due to the large increase in traffic. The support from fans has been overwhelming as well, with thousands showing up at the hospital or leaving well wishes on area forums and Web sites.

Do you have something to say about the accident, or well wishes for Big Ben? Click on "comments" below.


June 12, 2006 at 3:44 pm
(1) Maxine Brandmark says:

My prayers are with you. You are a the brightest star in the NFL today and we hope to see you playing again soon. You are too young and have alot more game left in you. You are strong and god will be with you.

June 12, 2006 at 3:45 pm
(2) Matt Wertz says:

Ben, LISTEN TO YOUR ELDERS!! Hope you get better soon!

June 12, 2006 at 3:48 pm
(3) Lee says:

Reports say Carson Palmer was driving the other vehicle.

June 12, 2006 at 3:49 pm
(4) Allan in Roseburg, OR says:

Ben our prayers are with from Oregon. May somehow the Lord use this for good. To make you stronger & smarter or maybe to save another life. May you have a speedy recovery and always remember your not alone

June 12, 2006 at 3:50 pm
(5) Meredith Leonard says:

You should have been wearing a helmet, Ben! Would you play football without one?

Hope you get well soon!

Meredith Leonard

June 12, 2006 at 3:58 pm
(6) Jamie Van Dusen says:

Hope your alright Big Guy! Steeler
Nation will be waiting your prognosis.
You wear a helmet to get hit by linbackers, you should have had one today.
Prayers and thoughts are with you.

June 12, 2006 at 4:03 pm
(7) Lando Link says:

Hope he pulls through OK, but damn is he an idiot. Between him and Winslow Jr, I’m curious how riding a motorcycle (helmet or not) is even allowed in a player’s contract at all. I read when former Chicago Bulls guard Jason Williams was in a motorcycle accident, it was clear violation of his contract with the team. Does this NFL have a different agreement in place with it’s players union on this issue?

June 12, 2006 at 4:08 pm
(8) Judy says:


I wish you a quick and complete recovery. I understand that you are 24 and feel that you are invincible. I love to watch you play football. Thank you for what you have done in Pittsburgh so far.

June 12, 2006 at 4:13 pm
(9) Dennis says:

Our Prayers go out to you from Montreal, Canada. Long time Steeler fan and you are our futur. We are bnot thinking about the football player or team now but your health. you’re a fighter, you can get through this.

PS. Fans stop the lecturing, it is too late now. Just pray for him as a person. The same way we did for Tedi Bruschi, in the end it is just a game. This is somebodies life we are talking about. We are praying for you.

June 12, 2006 at 4:18 pm
(10) DAN says:


June 12, 2006 at 4:23 pm
(11) Bill Caughey IV says:

Ben – Our prayers are with you. The more scars you have and the meaner you look, the more the city of Pittsburgh and Steeler fans everywhere will love you man, just don’t add the scars up too quick, you’ve got a lotta years left to add them up.

June 12, 2006 at 4:29 pm
(12) Shelley says:

Maybe he made a stupid decision, but Ben is young and hopefully will learn from what happened today. What’s important is that he makes a full recovery, for his family and friends and all the others who love him. We’re praying for you Big Ben!

June 12, 2006 at 4:58 pm
(13) Adam Lohrfinck says:

I am a BAltimore Ravens Fan who now lives in Florida, your team has always been a big rival. Right now I could care less about rivals and hope that you make a full recovery. I have much respect for you Ben.

Beat Wishes
Adam Lohrfinck

June 12, 2006 at 5:43 pm
(14) Della L. says:

God bless you and keep you safe Ben. My husband and I are praying for your full recovery. Put the bike away, please. You are a young man with an entire life ahead of you. You have accomplished what many only dream of. Go Big Ben, Go Steelers.

June 12, 2006 at 7:58 pm
(15) BARB RICHARDS says:


June 12, 2006 at 11:49 pm
(16) Jim Yokum says:

Ben – Even if you should have been wearing a helmet, you didn’t deserve this. Just know that Steelers Nation is with you every step of the way back.

June 14, 2006 at 3:06 am
(17) Albert F Riley III says:

Ben, Get well soon and I hope everything turns out ok for you. Please do me a favor and set the example for all people who ride a motorcycle and were all the protective gear needed to protect themselves when an accident occurs. Just think about all the people who do not have such a prestegise carrer as you do and lose the livelihood, their way of life, or their ability to walk, talk or think for the rest of their life. Set the example and lead the rest of the bikers into a sure win-win situation, just as you do in Football.

June 14, 2006 at 4:02 pm
(18) disgusted says:

Its common sense wear a helmet. Law or not. You wear your helmet when you play football where one when you ride a bike.You people disgust me thinking your all untouchable but guess what you have just been touched.I dont have anything against you its just you made a life and you may have ruined it because of your dumb decision.Your overpayed and Its ridiculous. What happened could of happened to any normal person and it wouldnt have even been heard about. Eventhough Ive said what ive said, get well soon because your a hell of a good quarterback and if you think about it theres opportunity in this for you. Good luck.

June 14, 2006 at 4:09 pm
(19) kathy says:

I am not a Steelers fan, but I do ride. I wear a helmet and that is my choice, but I believe in a persons right to make that choice for his or herself. That is why we live in America, because it is a FREE country. I am glad he is ok, it could have been much worse.

June 14, 2006 at 4:13 pm
(20) Bill & Shelley Danville says:

Dumb decision sure. Riding a bike without a license or a helmet is not something to joke around about. But seriously, Ben, we’re glad you’re going to be OK and hope you’ve learned from your terrible experience.

June 14, 2006 at 5:12 pm
(21) Christie Wheeler says:

My daughter and I wish you a full fast recovery, Even though we dont know you personally, we just know and love you as the famous football player that you are. We wish you all the luck in the world, we can’t wait to see you on th field.

Christie and Courtney Wheeler

June 14, 2006 at 7:44 pm
(22) Freda says:

Chin up superstar. Hope for a full and speedy recovery. All good wishes for your health.

June 14, 2006 at 7:49 pm
(23) Chubs says:

first time fan and long time nfl watcher. Good job hero. I’m a broncos fan but like a hallmark card says get well soon.:)

June 14, 2006 at 11:51 pm
(24) Larry says:

I don’t believe this. Everybody is talking about how Ben should not have been riding a motorcycle without a helmet, (which is Legal, how many people drive without seatbelts and car seats for children which is ilegal)and about “how fast his motocycle can go.” not how fast he actually was traveling. From what I have read from all the news services no one seems to care that the driver of the car made an illegal left hand turn in front of an oncoming vehicle.

June 15, 2006 at 1:36 am
(25) sparky says:

Good going Einstein. Long time NFL/colts fan and hoping for a full and fast recovery. Don’t let the other teams have it easy BIG Ben. Hope that arm is all good looking to see you fire off some cannonballs this season, although I’ll be rooting for Manning, your about third in my book.

June 15, 2006 at 10:40 am
(26) Ashley says:

I hope you feel better and you can still play football for the steelers!! You are the best qb and never forget it!!!!

June 16, 2006 at 11:13 pm
(27) Fan says:

Larry (comment #24), you do not know that the car was making an illegal left-hand turn. It could be the motorcycle suddenly came from behind another vehicle, unseen to the car driver. There can be dozens of other possibilities. Don’t jump to conclusions. Get well soon, Ben.

June 17, 2006 at 12:29 am
(28) Jon says:

Lost in this debate about helmets is the fact that most motorcycle vs. Luxury Sedan accidents where both vehicles are moving turn out much worse than this one did, helmet or no helmet. I wish Ben a speedy and full recovery, and I’m thankful that the accident wasn’t that bad in the first place. Because, in relative terms, it wasn’t.

Go Steelers!

July 10, 2006 at 7:25 pm
(29) Cathy says:

I wish ben a quick and painless recovery and as they always say once u fall off the horse you have to get back on. This time a helmet would be a good idea! I Love motorcycles and he looks to good on one to waste it ut safty first!! Have a great day!!

August 13, 2006 at 11:10 pm
(30) samantha says:

you are stupid. but you rock!!! but you’re still stupid!!!why didn’t you wear a helmet?!?!everyone wears helmets!!!!you dork!!!

P.S. You rock! I think you’re already well but get well!!!

October 29, 2007 at 8:44 am
(31) danica says:

I have been a huge fan for 12 years of the PITTSBURGH STEELERS. Good luck with yourself!!!

November 22, 2009 at 5:47 pm
(32) angel says:

i am glad that you r back to your normal self tell your buddy troy that i am thinking about him everynight along with you:)

June 13, 2010 at 3:06 pm
(33) john frank says:

this guys a waste of space

May 22, 2013 at 9:05 am
(34) Debiyanna says:

i’m so glad that your okay big benn… <3

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