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Prep Basketball Star Ronnie Fields Injured in Car Wreck

February 26, 1996

CHICAGO (AP) _ Prep basketball star Ronnie Fields was hospitalized in fair condition Monday following a car accident.

Fields, a three-time All-State player, was injured early Monday in rural DuPage County when the rental car he was driving swerved to avoid something in the roadway, slid and slammed twice into a guard rail, police said.

Details about his injury were sketchy.

Police say he walked from the his car to a squad car after the accident while awaiting an ambulance. But at the request of family members, Northwestern Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Marilyn Soglin would say only that Fields was in fair and stable condition.

Spokeswoman Sue Benedetto of Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, where Fields was taken prior to his transfer to Northwestern, said Fields suffered a ``cervical injury.″ She would not comment further.

A graceful player with a 40-inch vertical leap, the Farragut Career Academy senior has been impressing his opponents as well as his own teammates.

``That kid _ you can’t do anything about him,″ Manley coach Michael Clark told the Chicago Tribune last week after Fields scored 41 points in defeating his team. ``Ronnie told me his arm was sore as I walked into the gym. No wonder!″

A sheriff’s spokeswoman said Fields was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident and an airbag deployed. He left his car and walked to a squad car when police arrived, waiting there for an ambulance, she said.

There was no indication that drinking was involved and Fields was not ticketed for the accident.

Fields has averaged more than 30 points a game this season for Farragut’s Admirals (21-3), defending Chicago Public League champions.

He has been set to attend DePaul University, depending upon his ACT scores.