Irving has broken leg, collapsed lung

Updated: June 28, 2009, 11:17 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina State linebacker Nate Irving has been charged with careless and reckless driving after a wreck that left him with a broken leg and a collapsed lung.

State Highway Patrol spokesman Capt. Everett Clendenin said the one-vehicle wreck occurred about 4:40 a.m. Sunday on Interstate 40 in western Johnston County. He said Irving's vehicle ran off the road twice before striking two trees.

Clendenin said troopers believe Irving may have fallen asleep at the wheel. The school said Irving was expected to undergo surgery Sunday night at WakeMed Trauma Center in Raleigh.

Irving's mother, Frances Corbett, told The Charlotte Observer that her son was returning to NC State from his home in Wallace, located near Wilmington.

"He's doing really well," Corbett said. "He knows he's lucky to be alive."

Irving is expected to recover from his injuries quickly, she said. But the junior's status for the upcoming season was not immediately known. He was the third-leading tackler on the team last season, despite missing time with injuries.

"All of his teammates and coaches will be there to support him as he recovers and goes through the process of rehabilitation," coach Tom O'Brien said in a statement issued by the school.

Irving was an honorable mention all-Atlantic Coast Conference player last season despite missing nearly one-third of the year with injuries. He had 84 tackles, tying for third on the team.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.