Roethlisberger was 'seconds from dying'

In his first interview since a June 12 motorcycle accident, Ben Roethlisberger told ESPN's "SportsCenter" Wednesday that he doesn't remember much, but he does remember what he was told by people at the scene.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was told he was "seconds, maybe a minute away from dying" immediately after his accident last month.

"I slit a vein or artery in my mouth or my throat and it was draining blood right into my stomach and luckily the paramedic noticed it and stopped it or else I would have had too much blood in my stomach," he said in Los Angeles where he appeared for the ESPY Awards.

Roethlisberger continued:

"I remember very few things about the accident. I remember one car turning in front of me, I don't remember the car that hit me, but I remember that first car turning in front of me and the next thing I remember is being in the ambulance and asking, 'Is this really happening?'

"I said, 'Tell me this is just a bad dream,' and he said, 'No, everything is going to be OK,' and he asked me, 'Is there anyone you want me to call?' ... I just gave him two numbers and I don't remember anything until I woke up from surgery."

On not wearing a helmet, Roethlisberger said:

"That day I wasn't, I forgot it. I literally forgot it. You know there are times that, people that have been making a big deal for the last couple years about me riding first of all, and then me riding without a helmet, but it's one of those things that I ride with a helmet also. I do a little bit of both. If you don't wear a seat belt every time you ride in the car should I label you as a person who doesn't wear a seat belt? And unfortunately I happened to not have it on that day because I forgot it in the basement."

He was asked if he would ever ride a motorcycle again.

"I don't know. I am not even thinking about that right now," he said. "To me, right now, like I said when I first started thinking about things, I started thinking about my family. Now that I am doing better and I feel good, now all I am thinking about is football and that is what is on my mind right now. I am getting healthy and I am getting better every day so all I am thinking about is football. I am not thinking about anything else."

Roethlisberger is scheduled to play in a celebrity golf tournament this weekend in Lake Tahoe, Nev.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the Steelers won the ESPY for best team and Roethlisberger joined his teammates and coach Bill Cowher onstage to accept the award.

"I have no concerns about Ben," Cowher said. "He's going to have to get hit a couple times to see if he's all the way back. Hopefully, he can be a great inspiration to a lot of people about looking at life a little more cautiously."

In other Steelers news from Wednesday, rookie first-round pick Santonio Holmes entered a written plea of not guilty to disorderly conduct charges in Miami.

Neither Holmes nor his attorney were present at a brief hearing before Miami-Dade County Judge Darrin P. Gayles. A court date wasn't immediately set.

Holmes, who was the Steelers' first-round pick in the April NFL draft out of Ohio State, was arrested as part of a police crackdown on revelers who annually converge on Miami Beach during the Memorial Day weekend.

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