Grandmother: Nick Hogan crash passenger may have brain damage
By Christopher Rocchio, 08/28/2007
John J. Graziano, the 22-year-old front-seat passenger in Hogan Knows Best co-star Nick Hogan's Toyota Supra when it crashed Sunday evening, remained in critical condition late Tuesday morning, ABC's Tampa Bay affiliate WFTS-TV reported.
Police allege Nick Bollea, the 17-year-old son of wrestling star Terrence "Hulk Hogan" Bollea, was speeding in a Toyota Supra around 7:30PM on Sunday in Clearwater, FL when he lost control and hit a raised median, spinning the vehicle and causing its rear end to strike a palm tree.
While Nick was released from the hospital yesterday, Graziano's grandmother Catherine toldThe Tampa Tribune her grandson may have suffered brain damage from the crash, which required medial personnel to use the Jaws of Life to extract both passengers from the vehicle. Catherine said she learned of her grandson's physical well-being during a phone conversation with John's father while looking for a flight to Tampa on Monday.
According to The Tribune, John is a Marine who recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq.
"To come home from Iraq and for this to happen," Catherine told The Tribune.
Eyewitnesses alleged they spotted Nick's Toyota Supra racing a silver Dodge Viper prior to the accident, however The Tribune reported Nick has not been charged as of this time and there has been "no immediate evidence" suggesting he was street racing or "drifting," a driving technique that involves swerving sideways around tight corners.
"Everything that happened [on Sunday night] was because of excessive speed," Clearwater police spokesman Wayne Shelor told The Tribune. "When the car hit, it largely exploded or disintegrated."
Driving at high speeds certainly fits the young Hogan's MO.
He has received three speeding tickets in the last year, according to Florida state driving records obtained by TMZ. Last September, he was ticketed for driving 105 MPH in a 70 MPH zone in Collier County. In February, he was cited for driving 57 MPH in a 30 MPH zone in Dade County. In April, he was ticketed for driving 106 MPH in a 70 MPH zone in Osceola County.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, Pinellas Park, FL police also cited Nick for a fourth speeding offense on August 10 -- a 82 MPH in a 45 MPH zone violation that, due to its pending court status, does not yet appear on his state record. The Hogan Knows Best co-star is reportedly due to appear in court on September 10 for the Pinellas Park offense, which took place in a construction zone that had workers present.
The Tribune also reported Nick's an "accomplished drifter" who is certified to give demonstrations at different amateur events.
"He's been around and doing this for a couple of years," Tampa drift-race organizer Chris Tyler told The Tribune. "He's just there for the fun of it. He does it for the love of the sport... In person, he's a really good kid."
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