CLEARWATER, Florida (Reuters) - The son of wrestler and reality TV star Hulk Hogan was sentenced to eight months in jail on Friday for causing a car crash that seriously injured his passenger.
Nick Bollea, 17, pleaded no contest to a charge of reckless driving with serious bodily harm before he was sentenced by Pinellas County Judge Phillip Federico.
Bollea crashed his car into a tree in Clearwater, Florida, on August 26 last year. Police said he was speeding and racing another car.
Bollea’s passenger and friend, John Graziano, 22, suffered severe head injuries and remains in a semiconscious state in a hospital.
“I think there has to be some punishment,” Federico said at the hearing. He also sentenced Bollea to five years probation and 500 hours of community service and suspended his driver’s license for three years.
Graziano’s parents asked that Bollea be sentenced to some jail time. They said their son would need medical care for the rest of his life and are suing Hogan and Bollea for millions of dollars in damages.
Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, defended his son.
“Nick is a good person. He’s kind, gentle and compassionate,” he told the judge.
Nick Bollea apologized to Graziano’s family and his own. “I pray for John every day. I’m terribly sorry,” he said.