PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Three Rutgers football players were
injured, one seriously, in a multi-vehicle accident caused by a man
accused of drunken driving.
Safety Dondre L. Asberry, 20, of Miami, suffered a spine
fracture and head injuries in the accident Saturday night, police
The junior remained in critical condition Monday at Robert Wood
Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, hospital spokeswoman
Kristen Walsh said.
Cornerbacks Leslie "Manny" Collins and Eddie Grimes, both 20,
sustained head and facial injuries. They were treated and released
from the hospital along with Collins' brother, George W. Hardison,
18, who also suffered head and facial injuries.
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said he doubted Collins and Grimes
would play when Rutgers travels to Pittsburgh on Saturday.
"They're banged up. I'll know more as the week goes on," Schiano
None of the players are starters.
The accident occurred on Route 18 near the Rutgers campus
several hours after Rutgers' 16-6 win over Temple.
Police said Daniel J. Merlino, 26, of South Plainfield, was
driving north in the southbound lanes of the roadway at about 7:30
p.m. when his 2001 Mitsubishi Galant collided head-on with a 2003
GMC Envoy heading south.
Collins, of Plainfield, was driving a 1989 Toyota Tercel that
then struck the Envoy, which overturned, police said. Grimes, of
Hialeah, Fla., and Asberry were seated in the rear. Hardison, of
Plainfield, was not wearing a seat belt and was partially ejected
from the front seat.
Merlino was charged with drunken driving and reckless driving.
He was not wearing a seat belt and suffered multiple fractures and
head and internal injuries, police said.
The driver of the Envoy, 52-year-old Antonio Cristiano of
Piscataway, and his wife, Sylvia, 51, suffered head and facial
injuries and were treated and released from St. Peter's Hospital in