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Graham discusses frightening car accident


Jimmy Graham is lucky to be alive.

That was the main takeaway Tuesday when the Bears tight end shared details for the first time about a scary car accident he was involved in in Miami in early March.

Graham told reporters during a Zoom call that he was driving to the airport on the Florida Turnpike early in the morning when his attempt to avoid a stalled car nearly cost him his life. 

"I saw a cop going down this off-ramp with his lights on—he was reversing—so I got over two lanes," Graham said. "The sun's kind of coming up and as I go toward the hill, I'm looking at the cop, and when I look up there's a disabled vehicle in the center lane and I'm going about 90.

"Probably 15 yards away, so I swerve to the left, barely miss him. But I was headed toward a bridge, so I had to make kind of a last-minute decision and decided to just turn right and flip it to avoid jumping that thing. I ended up rolling, the cop said about four times, and skidding on the roof for about 100 yards."

Graham not only survived the frightening accident, but both he and his dog, a Vizsla named Ginger, walked away from the wreck unscathed.

"Sparks and glass [are] going everywhere, and I'm just sitting there in the seatbelt," Graham said. "I get out of the seatbelt and now I'm on the roof and I'm just kind of hollering for my dog. I don't hear her, so then I get out and she's in the back and we just walked away. A couple hours later, I ended up flying. So, it was a wild one."

Remarkably, Graham remained calm as his car flipped over and over on the highway.

"It's kind of weird," he said. "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's no way I'm going to die with something this stupid.'

"Literally, I was just like, 'Hey, I'm good,' and after they flipped the car back over, I towed it to the airport. Obviously, [I was] extremely lucky, and it was really awesome by the response team of Dade County. All the guys on the highway patrol there are special, and I appreciate all the help, obviously."

Many people no doubt would be traumatized by an incident like the one Graham experienced. But as someone who has played 11 NFL seasons and is also a certified pilot who flies aerobatic small planes in his spare time, he was unfazed.

"I got right back in the aerobatic plane and did some flips," Graham said. "I was good. It was pretty weird. I actually had this heart monitor on, I had one of those watches. My heart rate never got above, I think it was 87, so pretty interesting, for sure.

"I think football and a little bit of the flying and all the aerobatics I do, it kind of trains the body and trains the mind to be calm and focused during those moments. [I was] extremely lucky, just extremely blessed, to basically walk away and be able to fly the same day and do a workout. I really can't even describe it."

“I just knew it wasn’t my time. I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to die with something this stupid.’” Bears tight end Jimmy Graham

Get a look at Bears players participating in the club's annual photo shoot at Halas Hall.