Sutherland arrested after car crash

The 49ers' rather serene offseason took a jolt this weekend when second-year player Vinny Sutherland was arrested on felony charges after a solo vehicle accident in the Bay Area that also involved Niners' teammates Kevin Curtis and Josh Shaw.

According to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department, Sutherland - the Niners' return specialists last season - was charged with felony hit-and-run and driving under the influence after allegedly crashing his vehicle on Big Basin Road in Saratoga, a suburb of San Jose.

None of the three players were seriously injured, though Shaw was taken to Valley Medical Center in San Jose and treated for a cut hand. Shaw, a defensive tackle, was one of San Francisco's two fifth-round selection in the April draft and Curtis, a safety, was one of the team's two fourth-round selections.

Neither Curtis or Shaw, who were passengers in Sutherland's car, were arrested.

"We are very thankful that no one was seriously injured," Niners general manager Terry Donahue said in a statement released Monday afternoon. "We have been in contact with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department and will continue to communicate with them. Vinny has been charged and due to the legal issues involved we will not be able to comment any further."

Sutherland, 24, was arrested at approximately 3 a.m. Saturday. He averaged 22.8 yards on 50 kickoff returns and also returned 21 punts for 147 yards in 2001, when the rookie also caught one pass and gained 16 yards on a reverse.


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