LAKE FOREST, Ill. - Chicago Bears tight end Jimmy Graham admitted on Tuesday that he was fortunate to avoid serious injury when he was involved in a single-vehicle rollover crash in Miami back in early March.
Before the start of Chicago's mandatory three-day minicamp, Graham calmly recounted the harrowing story of how, on the day of the accident, he had to swerve to avoid a disabled car in the center lane of the highway as he and his dog, Ginger, were taking an early-morning drive to the airport.
"I was on the turnpike, and I saw a cop going kind of down this off-ramp with his lights off, he was reversing, so I got over two lanes and the sun is kind of coming up," Graham said on Zoom. "So as I'm going over [a] hill, I look up and there is a disabled vehicle in the center lane, and I'm going about 90 mph. Probably about 15 yards away [from the disabled car], I swerved to the left and barely missed him, but I was headed for a bridge so I kind of had to make a last-minute decision, so I decided to turn right and flip it to avoid jumping that [bridge].
"I ended up rolling -- the cop said four times -- and skidded on the roof for about 100 yards. It was a wild one."
Graham and Ginger walked away from the wreck unscathed, but the end result could have been much worse.
"I was talking to the cop, right after the accident, and talking to my mechanic, and it really felt like a game. Everything was really slow. I can remember making every decision. I can actually remember my phone floating up in the air -- I could see the time. I just knew it wasn't my time. I was like there is no way I'm going die over something this stupid.
"But obviously I was extremely lucky."
Graham, who was not found to be at fault, expressed gratitude to the police officers and first responders who arrived quickly on the scene.
Graham, 34, had 50 catches for 456 yards and eight touchdowns for the Bears last year. The five-time Pro Bowl selection is entering his second season with Chicago.