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German World Cup preparations disrupted by crash

AP - Sports

ST. LEONHARD IN PASSEIER, Italy (AP) -- Two members of Germany's World Cup team were involved in a car accident Tuesday.

Defender Benedikt Hoewedes and his Schalke teammate Julian Draxler were passengers in two vehicles driven by race car drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Nico Rosberg when the accident took place.

Two people were taken to a hospital, one with serious injuries, after being struck by a car driven by Wehrlein, the dpa news agency reported.

Wehrlein and Rosberg were doing laps of a short circuit in the mountains near the German team's hotel in South Tyrol, northern Italy, when the accident occurred. None of the players or the drivers was injured.

''I am shocked by the accident,'' Rosberg wrote on Twitter. ''My thoughts are with the two people who were injured and I wish them a fast recovery.''

German soccer federation spokesman Jens Grittner said: ''A driving exercise of our partner Mercedes-Benz ended in a serious accident. To our great regret, two people were injured. They were treated immediately and brought to hospital.''

Germany coach Joachim Loew called off a planned training game against the German under-20 team. The players instead took part in a private practice, with both Hoewedes and Draxler involved.

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