Lawrence involved in wrong-way wreck

Updated: November 10, 2009, 6:13 PM ET
Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. -- A Seton Hall University basketball player has been suspended indefinitely from the team after police charged he was under the influence when he drove the wrong way on the Garden State Parkway and collided with another car.

Keon Lawrence was treated for severe facial cuts, while the driver of the other car suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the crash early Monday, police said.

Coach Bobby Gonzalez announced Lawrence's suspension Tuesday in a news release, saying he was relieved those involved in the crash were not more seriously injured.

"We will respond accordingly when all of the facts of this matter have been collected," Gonzalez said. "Effective immediately, Keon Lawrence has been suspended from the team indefinitely."

Lawrence scored 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting in Seton Hall's one exhibition game this season. He probably would have started in the Pirates' season opener against St. Peter's on Friday night at the Prudential Center.

New Jersey State Police Sgt. Stephen Jones said the 22-year-old Lawrence hit another vehicle early Monday after driving the wrong way on the expressway near Sayreville, N.J.

Jones said police received a call of a motorist driving erratically in a red Chevy Equinox shortly before the crash. Lawrence was alone in the Chevy, which was not registered to him. Police also charged him with driving with a suspended license.

Police did not know whether Lawrence had retained a lawyer, and the university declined to comment further. A phone number was not listed for Lawrence in New Jersey.

Gonzalez's release said Lawrence had been called the "Human Pogo Stick" at Weequahic High School in Newark where he was known for his "acrobatic dunks and athleticism." As a high school senior, he was selected First Team All-State in New Jersey and led the state with 31.2 points per game, the release said. He was the third player in Essex County to record more than 2,000 career points, the release said.

The junior guard transferred from the University of Missouri to Seton Hall in 2008. He was ineligible to play last season per NCAA regulations, but he practiced with the team.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press