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J.R. Smith’s Passenger Andre Bell Died

This is a horrible twist to the story of the car crash involving Nuggets guard J.R. Smith (pictured) over the weekend. As soon as I heard on Saturday that the passenger had to be airlifted to a hospital, I knew it wasn’t good. And just as I suspected, the news was fatal. 21-year-old Andre Bell died on Monday around 6pm ET from serious head injuries.

Physically, J.R. is said to be doing fine. I can’t imagine how he could be doing mentally, however. That has to be devastating. Most likely on par with what Dany Heatley of the Thrashers experienced, only difference being Heatley and Dan Snyder had been drinking. No word yet on Smith. But we do know that the death could result in more serious charges for Smith:

New Jersey State Police spokesman Sgt. Stephen Jones said Smith could face additional charges, but that would be determined after the state prosecutor gathered and analyzed all information in the case. Part of that information is from a toxicology test, which Jones said was done on Smith at the hospital this past weekend.

“If (Bell’s death) changes anything, it changes the way the prosecutor might look at it,” Jones said. “They are the ones we work with in terms of charges beyond any traffic charges.”

Man, how much does that suck? All the result we presume, of running a stop sign. And it changes your life forever. Another message and reminder to everyone out there to wear your seatbelt — it can change your life. And save it. Neither Smith nor Bell were wearing one, but the third passenger, Carroll Marshall, was buckled up and came away with just back pain. We may not be able to shake tragedies, but we certainly can learn from them. And I hope J.R. has.



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  • Dario Krecic

    J.R. has my heartfelt empathy. He will suffer for this probably for years to come. Hopefully he’ll find ways to help others through his experience. I say this because twenty five years ago at age twenty two I was in a car accident in upstate New York with a very close friend at that time. Neither of us were wearing seatbelts. I survived, he didn’t. To this day I pray (chant) for my friend and try to honor him. Grieving is first and processing will take time. I read the news on J.R.s accident and felt it was similar to my experience. I guess it pinched a nerve in me. I’m sure that J.R. has family and as a professional athlete has all the support he needs. But if he ever could use a contact outside his family or community who can appreciate and understand what he’s been through, pass my e-mail address on to him.Encouraging someone with a similar experience is a way of honoring my friend. That’s my M.O. nothing else.