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Hulk's son, passenger are injured

The wrestler's son, 17, is driving when the car crashes into a tree.

By ELENA LESLEY, Times Staff Writer
Published August 27, 2007

Nick Bollea, 17, also known as Nick Hogan, was seriously injured in a car crash on Court St. around 7:30 p.m in Clearwater. He and another passenger were extracted from his car and airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center.
[Courtesy of Eamonn Kneeshaw]
[Courtesy of Eamonn Kneeshaw]
Hulk Hogan came to the scene.

CLEARWATER - Professional wrestling star Hulk Hogan's son and another young man were seriously injured in a car crash Sunday evening in Clearwater.

Driver Nick Bollea, 17, also known as Nick Hogan, and a passenger had to be extracted from the crumpled Toyota Celica Supra.

Officials said both were taken by air to Bayfront Medical Center, where the passenger was reported in critical condition. Family members gathered at the hospital late Sunday, but reporters were kept at a distance.

Nick Bollea's injuries were not immediately described, but Wayne Shelor, Clearwater Police Department spokesman, said he was less seriously injured than his passenger.

The bright yellow car was traveling eastbound on Court Street about 7:30 p.m. when it hit the median, Shelor said.

Dennis Balila, who was in the yard of a nearby apartment complex, said he heard a loud screech and then saw the car flying backward.

Bollea's car skidded about 25 yards, spun around and crashed, trunk-first into a median palm tree, Shelor said.

Hulk Hogan arrived on the scene flanked by three Clearwater police officers, Balila said. For about 30 minutes, he went back and forth between the car and ambulance as the two young men were cut free, Balila said.

A Tampa Robinson High School graduate, Hulk Hogan moved into a 17,000-square-foot Belleair mansion with his family in 1996.

Their faces became familiar at Tampa Bay area events.

In 2005, when the reality show Hogan Knows Best began airing on VH1, a national audience got a glimpse of the family's life in Florida.

They put the 2.3-acre property up for sale in mid 2006 while filming the show, with a $25-million asking price. They then moved to a new $12-million bayfront estate on Miami Beach's North Bay Road.

But later that year, the wrestler's Realtor told the Times the Belleair home was no longer on the market. And Hogan said they never really left the area.

"They came back for the holidays and said this is home and they love the area," Coldwell Banker Realtor Marcia Ellis said.

Times staff writers Catherine Shoichet, Jon Abel and Nick Johnson contributed to this report.

[Last modified August 27, 2007, 00:02:06]

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