Hulk Hogan denies son Nick Hogan was racing prior to car crash
By Christopher Rocchio, 09/04/2007
Although multiple eyewitnesses have stated otherwise, Hogan Knows Best co-star Terrence "Hulk Hogan" Bollea says his 17-year-old son Nick wasn't racing moments before he crashed his Toyota Supra in Clearwater, FL last Sunday evening.
"It's just so unfair. There's not a bad bone in my son Nick's body," Hulk told The Insider during an interview scheduled to air on Tuesday night's broadcast of the syndicated entertainment news program. "The most important thing to me was from all the eyewitnesses and from everyone who was there and saw it, they were not racing. Thank God."
Police allege Nick was speeding in a Toyota Supra around 7:30PM last Sunday when he lost control and hit a raised median, spinning the vehicle and causing its rear end to strike a palm tree. While police have yet to confirm if Nick was in fact racing before the crash occurred, several eyewitnesses claim a silver Dodge Viper was seen racing the Supra moments before the crash happened.
"When I saw the wreck, I didn't think anybody was alive," Hulk told The Insider. "I thought no one could have lived through a wreck like that."
His son did survive and was released from St. Petersburg's Bayfront Medical Center last Monday, however his front-seat passenger -- 22-year-old active duty Marine John Graziano -- remains in critical condition, The Insider reported.
"Nick is doing good," Hulk told The Insider. "He's got a broken arm, some broken ribs, some neck problems and some stuff wrong with his knees but he's hanging in there. He's living at the hospital with John. He's going to be okay and John's going to be okay and we're going to move forward."
Hulk added he arrived at the crash scene not knowing his son was involved.
"We were going to get something to eat and Nick paged me and said, 'Dad, I want to go early, because we don't have a table at the restaurant,'" Hulk recounted to The Insider. "As I was going down our normal route, I saw this yellow car and it happened to be twisted... and there were ambulances there and police were there, and -- BAM -- it was my car."
Hulk described Graziano as "like my son" and added it's difficult to see him still in the hospital especially since he only recently returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq.
"We were always close," Hulk told The Insider about his relationship with Graziano. "When he went to Kuwait and came back, it was like a miracle. So the bond with these boys and with these two families is something that people don't understand. It's a tough one for all of us."
Graziano's mom Debbie echoed Hulk's comments that the two families are close.
"They are like an extended family," Debbie wrote in an email sent to the media, the St. Petersburg Timesreported Monday. "Since the day of this nightmare, they have been with us physically, emotionally, mentally and financially. They came and faced our family and friends not knowing what response they would get."
Debbie described the crash as a "tragic accident" that has "devastated" two families, adding her son has been close to the Hogan family for six years. In addition to supporting her son with their continued presence at the hospital, Debbie said the Hogan family has also personally delivered food and other supplies to John's bedside.
"We are two families who love John," she wrote in the email, according to the Times. "It was a horrific accident. Nick is experiencing every step in the process with us."
One person who no longer is by John's side at the hospital is his 52-year-old father Edward, who was reportedly arrested Friday on charges he violated a domestic violence injunction.
According to a Saturday Timesreport, Edward threw a cup of cold coffee on relatives while at the hospital on Thursday night. While police were reportedly called to the scene, officers eventually determined the incident was classified as a "domestic brawl" and not a crime. However the Times reported Debbie renewed an expired domestic violence injunction against Edward following the incident.
Police were then called to the hospital again around 3:15PM on Friday after Edward allegedly came into contact with Debbie, which the Times reported violated the just-renewed injunction. Edward was arrested and transported to Pinellas County Jail on the misdemeanor charge.
It was Edward's second arrest since June, when the Times reported he was arrested on charges of domestic battery; tampering with a witness; and battery on a law enforcement officer. The case is reportedly still pending.