(Joe Marusak/Charlotte Observer) - Carolina Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson is being sued by former Duke University quarterback Anthony Boone for injuries Boone suffered in a two-car head-on wreck.
Thompson was driving left of center on Potter Road near Weddington in May 2016 when the collision occurred, the State Highway Patrol reported at the time. Thompson told troopers he dropped his phone on the floorboard of his 2016 Chevrolet SUV and reached down to pick it up. That caused him to cross the center line, troopers said.
Boone, driving a 2004 Lexus SUV, swerved left to avoid Thompson. But Thompson pulled back toward the right, and the two collided, according to a State Highway Patrol incident report.
Boone was hospitalized with hand and hip injuries, Sgt. Be Miller of the Highway Patrol's Union County division said at the time. Miller said Boone was not wearing a seat belt. Miller said Thompson, who was wearing a seat belt, also was injured but declined treatment.
Boone's lawsuit, filed Monday, seeks more than $25,000 in punitive and compensatory damages, ESPN first reported.
Thompson was cited for driving left of center but was not arrested, the Observer reported at the time of the wreck. Alcohol was involved but did not contribute to the wreck, according to the Highway Patrol. Miller said a test showed Thompson had alcohol in his system but "was well below the legal limit" of 0.08 percent.
Miller declined to specify Thompson's blood-alcohol level was but said Thompson also passed field sobriety tests. "He had some residual left over from the night before, but nothing where it was impairing or anything like that," Miller said.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said in 2016 that the team conducted its own investigation, and Thompson told the Panthers what he told the police. Rivera said the health of Boone was "the most important thing."
"Unfortunately, it's a young guy that should not have been (dealing) with his cellphone," Rivera said.
The Panthers drafted Thompson with the 25th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
Thompson started 36 games his first three years and figures to have an even bigger role when Thomas Davis retires after this season, the Observer reported. So it's not a surprise that the Panthers plan to pick up Thompson's fifth-year option for the 2019 season, the Observer reported recently, citing an NFL source.
Boone starred at Weddington High before going to Duke in 2010. He became the full-time starter for the Blue Devils in 2013 and finished his career with the most wins (19) of any quarterback in Duke history.