Donte’ Stallworth recalls hot air balloon accident

Getty Images

A surprise treat for a close friend turned into a disastrous and painful afternoon for Donte’ Stallworth last month.

In an account told by friend and sports publicist Rebkah Howard for FoxSports.com, Stallworth recounted the incident in Miami that led to both he and friend Soleil Guerrero being taken to the hospital for severe burns after their hot air balloon struck power lines and crashed.

The balloon ride was a treat for Guerrero as it was one of the things on her “bucket list.” However, it was a lengthy flight lasting two hours and came to a terrifying conclusion. The balloon pilot tried to land in a field but the balloon didn’t clear the power lines and crashed into it. Both Stallworth and Guerrero were shocked by the power lines and Stallworth said he felt death closing in.

“In that moment, I thought my eyes would close and I’d never wake up again,” he said.

The electricity had caught their clothes on fire and burned them doth severely. Guerrero even couldn’t feel her legs initially. The two were loaded into ambulances and taken to the hospital. The irony of the situation caused Stallworth to laugh while still at the scene.

“I’ve played professional football for 10 years and I’ve never been carted off the football field,” he said he told the paramedics. “Now, after a couple hours in a hot air balloon, I’m getting airlifted off a farm.”

Guerrero just left the hospital last week and is going to physical therapy sessions while Stallworth hopes to resume workouts within the next month. Stallworth is a free agent that is still looking for an opportunity for next season. Stallworth appeared in just one game for the New England Patriots last season. He had just one catch but it was a big one – a 63-yard touchdown against the Houston Texans in December.

32 responses to “Donte’ Stallworth recalls hot air balloon accident

  1. I find it funny that he refers to the “irony” of the situation, rather than the karmic repercussions. Perhaps that’s the true irony…

  2. Bought a balloon ride for my girlfriend in Minny in 2005. Cool for the first 20 minutes, then became sickeningly boring.

    Pilot said he was having trouble finding a landing spot and we remained in the air an extra 65 minutes.

    He started getting extreme flop sweat and I told her I might jump out while we were about 15 yards over a wheat field.

    She asked me what she should do and I told her, “at this point I don’t care.” and I ended up taking a cab home and never saw her again.

    Rotten thing landed while I told her that.

    Never ballooning again!

  3. “I’ve played professional football for 10 years and I’ve never been carted off the football field,” he said he told them. “Now, after committing drunken vehicular homicide and spending a couple hours in a hot air balloon, I’m getting airlifted off a farm.”

  4. No one is going to care that you caught a 63- yard touchdown, they will want to know why you played in only one game. Don’t rush your recovery you got a whole year.

  5. Surprised they survived, electricity isn’t a joke. Shocked once when I forgot to unplug my computer, never want to feel anything like that again and that was serious at all.

  6. “In that moment, I thought my eyes would close and I’d never wake up again,” said Mario Reyes. Only he never did wake up again. Karma…?

  7. Clearly he misunderstood, a balloon was supposed to be ON her bucket list, not BE her bucket. badaboom.

    Hope they both recover well.

  8. Let’s reset.

    Has an DUI accident and kills a pedestrian.

    Has a hot air balloon accident.

    Dante, the fun is about to end, think about your future

  9. If Man and Woman were supposed to fly, we would have been created with wings.

    Hot air balloons are no joke. He’s lucky, It could have been much worse than that. Cross it off the Bucket list and stay away from those balloons!

  10. Agent Drew Rosenhaus, in an email to USA TODAY Sports, wrote of Stallworth, “He’s ok. Has some burns but he will be fine.”

    The Associated Press reported that Stallworth has “serious” burns and had been hospitalized..

    According to NBC 6 South Florida, Miami-Dade Police said that two people were rushed to a regional trauma center after a hot air balloon crashed into power lines in Homestead Saturday morning. The injured passengers were unidentified.

    Stallworth was signed by the Patriots in 2012, but he was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury following New England’s Week 14 win over the Houston Texans.

  11. I love how everybody instantly goes to the manslaughter charge when the fact of the matter is that Stallworth was out in the MORNING, not coming home from the club, on his way to the store when Reyes walked out in front of his car. Little known fact, Stallworth could have fought his conviction with a law that exists in Florida that states that if the victim is breaking the law(jay-walking), they are just as responsible as the accused, even if they were impared, but he didn’t because he Wanted to be tried for the crime he felt he committed.

    Now, I’m not excusing the fact that he was out the night before drinking, but there’s not one person here who hasn’t driven the next morning after drinking, and you’re a liar if you say you haven’t.

    I go to work(sober) at 5am every day, and if I’m going 50mph and some guy jay-walks in front of me at that time of the morning, odds are, he’s getting hit. None of you could argue that.

  12. May Mario Reyes RIP.

    That being said, the man was jay-walking across a multiple lane highway with a speed limit ~50 mph. Donte absolutely never should have gotten behind the wheel late that night, but I don’t think most people know all of the circumstances involved in that incident. He’s no Ray Lewis.

  13. The irony in zeedoubleyou’s statement is amazing

    You excuse Donte for a situation that he clearly didn’t cause, dui be damned, but then say he’s no Ray lewis. Yet if you analyze the Ray Lewis incident you’d know that Ray never stabbed a man at all, white suit be damned. All Ray was guilty of is not talking. The other party initiated the fight after Ray’s group previously walked away, Ray was said by neutral witnesses that he wasn’t involved in the incident, and one of the two people who Ray testified against LATER had a line in a song mentioning on how he should of stabbed Ray too.

    The only reason why Ray’s name even came up is because he’s Ray Lewis. If you’re somebody famous and something criminal happens that involves your associates, prosecutors are going to go for you first..not them. You’re the big name, you’re the one seen in the media, that’s why others who have been in similar situations tell big names to not travel in a entourage.

    And people can bring up the fact that he’s paid the family all they want. If Donte Stallworth can plead guilty because he morally believes it was right; He absolutely could of had his charges against him dropped as crossing a highway is DANGEROUS (I tried..then walked around), 5a.m making it much worse.

    If Stallworth can do that then I believe Ray can also give money to the family as he takes responsibility for being with the people that night.

Leave a Reply