Panthers quarterback Cam Newton sustained two fractures to his lower back in a car crash Tuesday and will spend the night in the hospital, according to a team spokesman. (AP)

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will remain in a local Charlotte hospital overnight for observation after being involved in a two-car vehicle wreck near the city’s stadium on Tuesday afternoon, the Carolina Panthers said. The veteran quarterback is in fair condition with two transverse process fractures in his lower back, according to Panthers Director of Communications Charlie Dayton, who held a press conference just before 3:30 p.m. EST. Newton did not suffer any internal injuries.

Panthers officials are closely monitoring the situation, while they await further tests. His status for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is unknown. Like Cam Newton, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has fractures to two transverse processes. Romo missed one game, but has played since with the help of painkillers.

The accident occurred Tuesday on the Church Street bridge over I-277 around 12:30 p.m. EST,  according to the Charlotte Observer, which had reporters immediately at the scene. The accident, which involved Newton driving alone in his large Dodge truck and another driver in a Buick sedan, occurred just blocks from the paper’s newsroom. The paper elaborates via a witness on the scene:

A witness, Tony Douglas, said he was walking on Church Street toward the Transportation Center when he saw a Buick sedan and the Dodge truck collide.

Douglas said the truck was heading south on Church and the sedan was crossing Church from Hill Street when they hit.

The truck flipped several times, he said, coming to rest on its passenger side. Douglas said he ran to the truck and saw the quarterback inside.

Afterward, he said, Newton “was alert. He was in pain.”


(Skip Foreman/AP)

(Todd Sumlin/AP/The Charlotte Observer)

As news of the accident began to fly around the Web, so did false rumors of the seriousness of Newton’s suspected injuries. One tweeter even reported Newton had two broken legs (he does not), and the hashtag #PrayForNewton was trending by mid-afternoon. Police, however, were quick to leak statements to local reporters, assuring the public that Newton was not in critical condition. Police sources told reporters that Newton was both conscious and communicative immediately after the accident. A pictures of Newton smiling while being treated at the scene would seem to back up those statements.


(Todd Sumlin/AP/The Charlotte Observer, Todd Sumlin)

https://twitter.com/jjones9/status/542379846249115649

The driver of the other vehicle was also transported to the hospital and is also believed to be in good condition with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department spokesperson Rob Tufano (via NFL.com).

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.