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 Lara seriously hurt in auto accident

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PostSubject: Lara seriously hurt in auto accident   Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:36 pm

Lara seriously hurt in auto accident
Motorcycle strikes vehicle driven by Indians reliever
By Anthony Castrovince /

CLEVELAND -- Indians pitcher Juan Lara was involved in a serious car accident Saturday night in his native Dominican Republic. Two people died in the accident, and Lara is being tended to in a Dominican hospital.

According to team spokesman Bart Swain, Lara was driving a sports utility vehicle and was stopped at an intersection in San Pedro de Macoris when a motorcycle traveling at a high speed slammed into the vehicle's driver side. The two people riding the motorcycle died instantly, Swain said.

Lara, 26, was seriously injured in the accident and might need to be transported to the U.S. to have surgery performed. His girlfriend, whose name was not available, was seated in the vehicle's passenger side and is also hospitalized at Plaza de la Salud, though her injuries are not considered to be as significant.

Swain could not provide further details as to the extent of Lara's injuries.

"We are monitoring his status very closely," Swain said, "and he is definitely in our prayers right now."

The accident occurred shortly after a game played by Lara's Winter League team, Estrellas de Oriente, which is based in San Pedro de Macoris.

Lara, a left-handed reliever, was signed by the Indians out of the club's Dominican Academy in 1999 and worked his way up through the Minor League system until making his big league debut in 2006. He pitched in nine games in September of '06, posting a 1.80 ERA. In 2007, he made one appearance with the Tribe in September and spent most of the year at Triple-A Buffalo, where he went 4-3 with a 3.88 ERA and two saves in 52 appearances.

Indians right-hander Fausto Carmona first alerted the club to the news on Lara and has visited his teammate in the hospital, Swain said. Lino Diaz, the Tribe's director of Latin American operations, has been dispatched to the Dominican to monitor Lara's situation.

bow Z. Miner
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