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NBA Player Accused Of DWI

Derrick Coleman was accused of driving drunk Wednesday after a collision with a tractor-trailer that sent him, teammate Eldridge Recasner and a woman to the hospital.

The Charlotte Hornets power forward, who has had previous run-ins with the law, received stitches for cuts to his nose and forehead and was released from Carolinas Medical Center.

Recasner, a reserve guard, had a partially collapsed lung and a badly bruised chest and shoulder and will remain hospitalized for a few days, team spokesman Harold Kaufman said.

The other passenger, Ebony Kimbrough, 25, was being treated at the center for facial cuts and was listed in fair condition.

Coleman told Charlotte-Mecklenburg police he had the green light at an intersection and the truck struck him; the truck driver, Peter Roe, said Coleman turned left in front of him, police said.

Police arrested Coleman on a charge of driving while under the influence. Information on his blood-alcohol level wasn't immediately available.

Two previous cases in Michigan still are pending against Coleman.

In August, he was accused of urinating in front of patrons at a Detroit restaurant and charged with disorderly conduct. Coleman denied any wrongdoing, saying he spilled a drink on himself. He also faces a lawsuit in Michigan in which he is accused of trespassing and battery at a Detroit woman's home in 1997.

In 1995, Coleman was arrested and charged with refusing to move his truck and swearing at a police officer in Detroit. The jury failed to reach a verdict and the case ended in a mistrial.

Coleman is in the second year of a five-year, $40 million contract with the Hornets. He has averaged 12.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists in six exhibition games. Last season, he was limited to 37 games by foot and ankle problems.

Recasner was signed by the Hornets as a free agent last January.

Hornets officials said Coleman will return to practice Thursday and might play Friday night in Charlotte's final exhibition game against Chicago at Chapel Hill.

"If found guilty of anything, we will take appropriate action," coach Paul Silas said of Coleman.

"Things happen," teammate Eddie Jones said. "It was an accident, and we need to let him get better."

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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