Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Donte Stallworth on balloon crash: 'My butt caught on fire'

stallworth 6.11.13

What is it like to be involved in a hot air balloon crash? Donte Stallworth certainly knows.

On Tuesday, the veteran NFL receiver Donte Stallworth shed some light on a scary incident that occurred three months ago, which sent him to the hospital with serious burns, after the hot air balloon he was riding in clipped a power line.

Stallworth has since recovered and is expected to sign with the Washington Redskins this week after taking part in the team's minicamp practice as a tryout player on Tuesday.

"It felt exactly like the cartoons," he said about the crash. "When you see people getting electrocuted on cartoons, that's exactly what it felt like."

Stallworth said the balloon ride was a birthday surprise for his then-girlfriend. All was well until the end when the balloon clipped a power line while attempting to land.

"Literally, my butt caught on fire," he said. "And she was on fire as well.

"Ten years of playing professional football and I never been carted off the field," he said. "And I've never even been helped off the field. If I had a knee injury, I was able to get up and walk away on my own. And I go on a hot air balloon, something that seems very peaceful for two hours, and I'm getting airlifted to a hospital, life on the line."

The burns took several weeks to heal well enough to resume football training, according to Stallworth, but physical scars still remain. Nonetheless, the 32-year-old has put the the incident behind him and is hoping to make an impact with the Redskins this season.


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