Aldon Smith was a passenger Friday night in a car that swerved to avoid a deer, according to the CHP. Smith's eventful year began with a DUI citation in January.

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Aldon Smith in car accident before Lions game

Published: Wednesday, Sep. 19, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Friday, Sep. 21, 2012 - 5:50 pm

SANTA CLARA – Aldon Smith said Tuesday he suffered no ill effects from a Friday night car accident east of San Jose and that he and the driver walked away from the crumpled BMW.

"Everybody's good," the 49ers linebacker said in front of his locker. "We all walked away from it. The only thing messed up was the car."

The unidentified driver was transported to San Jose Regional Medical Center, the region's trauma center, with what a California Highway Patrol spokesman said was a "broken back."

The CHP said the driver swerved to avoid a deer and struck a tree on a winding road in the foothills east of San Jose at 11:45 p.m. Smith, who was in the passenger seat, suffered a cut below his right eyebrow. Smith, 22, said he was wearing his seat belt when the accident occurred.

Less than 48 hours later, Smith played every defensive snap in a win over the Detroit Lions, and he said the game was therapeutic for him.

"Being in something like that – being in an accident – and then being able to go out and have fun and do something that I love doing – it was a relief to be able to get away from everything," Smith said. "So it was good that I was able to get out there and make plays and get the win. So I was fine."

The 49ers' second-year linebacker has had an eventful year.

He was cited for DUI in Miami Beach in January. In June, he suffered minor stabbing wounds at a party at his home, during which two other partygoers were shot.

According to Miami-Dade County officials, Smith qualified for a program to reduce the DUI charges to reckless driving. Smith had to complete a DUI school, log 60 hours of community service, complete a session of the victim-impact panel and pay $500 to a victim services or DUI enforcement fund to have the charges reduced.

"I'm just focused on moving forward," Smith said when asked if there is reason for alarm. "If I saw a pattern with a person on my team, and he was able to make plays and play a good game, that's what I'm worried about. I'm worried about how he plays the game. I'm worried about how he's helping out this team. I'm worried about the wins we're getting."

Smith had seven tackles and two sacks in Sunday's win over the Lions, but those two sacks aren't quite official.

Smith was credited for one sack while defensive end Ray McDonald got the other. The 49ers have asked the league to review McDonald's sack, and it's possible it could be split between Smith and McDonald.

Haggans suspended – Linebacker Clark Haggans, recently signed by the 49ers, will miss the next three games after being suspended for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. Haggans, 35, was convicted of DUI in 2011 when he played for the Cardinals.

"We were certainly aware that this decision was a possibility as we evaluated Clark prior to adding him to our roster," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. "Therefore we are prepared to move forward accordingly."

The 49ers signed Haggans on Sept. 3 after placing Parys Haralson, the top backup at outside linebacker, on injured reserve with a torn triceps.

Haggans suited up for the first two games but did not play. He can return to the active roster Oct. 8, one day after the 49ers host the Buffalo Bills.

It's unknown how the 49ers will proceed without him in games against Minnesota, the New York Jets and Buffalo. Defensive end Demarcus Dobbs could be an emergency third outside linebacker if anything happened to starters Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith.

The 49ers also could bring up rookie Cam Johnson from the practice squad or sign veterans Eric Bakhtiari or Ikaika Alama-Francis, both with the 49ers in the exhibition season.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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