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Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Marcus Benard charged after accident

Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Browns defensive end Marcus Benard was driving "at a high rate of speed" and crossed four lanes before crashing his motorcycle into a guardrail, according to a police report.

Benard
Benard

Benard was thrown an estimated 241 feet after slamming his Can-Am Spyder into the guardrail on Monday after practice. Benard, who broke his hand in the wreck, has been charged with driving under suspension and reckless operation. Browns spokesman Neal Gulkis said Benard remains hospitalized at the Cleveland Clinic.

Police said his three-wheeled vehicle traveled 687 feet before coming to rest. The report does not estimate how fast Benard was driving before the crash on Interstate-71.

Brooklyn Police Sgt. Scott Mielke said Benard is due in court Oct. 18 in Parma.

A witness, who like Benard was driving northbound on I-71, told police that one of Benard's tires "came off the roadway" as he tried to gain control of the motorcycle, which has two front wheels and one rear wheel. The accident occurred about two hours after Benard left practice at the team's facility in Berea.

The 26-year-old Benard led the Browns with 7½ sacks last season. He has played in all four of Cleveland's games this season.

It's not yet known how long Benard will be sidelined or if he has other injuries. The team may choose to put him on injured reserve.

Benard overcame long odds to make it to the NFL. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and spent the first nine weeks of his rookie year on Cleveland's practice squad.

Last season, Benard fainted in the locker room before practice and was briefly hospitalized. Tests were negative and he attributed the health scare to stress caused by his son's birth.