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Ex-Indiana Player Injured in Crash

July 12, 1999

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) _ Former Indiana basketball standout Luke Recker was recovering from a broken arm, facial cuts and a partially severed ear after a head-on collision on a rural road.

Recker, 21, was listed in fair condition today at Mercy Hospital in Durango. He spent much of Sunday before undergoing plastic surgery to his face and left ear. Hospital spokesman Joe Wade Plunk said Recker would probably not be released until Tuesday at the earliest.

The driver of the vehicle in which Recker was a passenger was killed in Saturday night’s three-car crash on County Road 240 near Durango in southwestern Colorado. He was identified as John Hollbert, 23, of Senoia, Ga.

The other four passengers riding with Recker were also injured, one critically.

Among them were Kelly Craig, 19, of Jasper, Ind., an Indiana student identified by Indianapolis TV station WRTV as Recker’s girlfriend. The state patrol said she suffered a spinal fracture and partial paralysis.

Her 17-year-old brother Jason Craig, a senior football player at Jasper High School, injured his head and spleen.

The Craigs were transported Sunday to the San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, N.M., where Jason was listed in critical condition in intensive care and Kelly in serious, spokeswoman Rhonda Warden said .

Others in the Recker car identified by the State Patrol were Joanne McGurk, 18, of Durango listed in serious condition, and Brian O’Hara, 23, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who was in good condition today at Mercy Hospital.

Recker reportedly was part of a group of 17 people driving to a carnival in Durango when a truck driven by Bob Hardwick, 21, of Durango, drifted across the center line at about 70 mph, State Trooper Mike McGuire said.

The truck then sideswiped a pickup carrying 11 people in Recker’s group and collided head-on with the Ford Taurus that Recker was riding in.

None of the people in the pickup truck that was sideswiped was hospitalized.

The Colorado State Patrol said Hardwick was being held under $500,000 bond for investigation of vehicular homicide.

McGuire said drunken driving also is suspected, but he was awaiting blood toxicology reports.

Recker, a Mr. Basketball in Indiana, transferred from Indiana to Arizona this year. He averaged 16.2 points and four rebounds last season as a sophomore forward for the Hoosiers.

Recker will sit out this year and will have two years of eligibility remaining.

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