T-Wolves’ Towns feels fortunate to be alive after traffic accident

Karl-Anthony Towns of the Timberwolves returned to action Monday night after missing two games.

Karl-Anthony Towns believes he is “lucky to be alive” after he was involved in a traffic accident that has sidelined him for two games.

The Minnesota Timberwolves standout young center told reporters Monday that he had a five-percent chance of surviving the accident, which happened last Thursday.

“The accident could have went — I’d say I had a five-percent chance of making it out alive,” Towns told reporters. “I hit the five-percent mark. I’d say four percent was to be seriously injured, and one percent was to be minorly injured — and I came out in the one percent.”

Towns, a two-time All-Star, revealed he was in the passenger seat of a Hyundai Santa Fe that had come to a complete stop as to avoid another accident in front of them. The vehicle in which Towns was riding was then struck by a semi truck that Towns estimated was going 35 to 45 mph.

“It could have been much worse,” he said. “In all honesty, I probably should not have made it out like I did.”

Minnesota announced Monday afternoon that Towns is no longer in the NBA concussion protocol and would play against the visiting Sacramento Kings on Monday night.

Towns was wearing a seatbelt in the vehicle being driven by Timberwolves assistant strength and conditioning coach Kurt Joseph when he had to make a hard stop on Interstate 35W in Minneapolis last Thursday in order to avoid the other accident in front of them. Towns told reporters he remembered Joseph looking “stone-faced,” while saying that the semi he viewed in the rearview mirror was not slowing down.

The Timberwolves’ big man believes wearing the seatbelt saved his life.

“If I don’t have that seatbelt,” Towns said. “I’m going right through the windshield.”

Like everyone, the Timberwolves are relieved and thankful Towns is safe and sound.

“You obviously want to make sure KAT the person is taken care of,” Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders said. “That’s definitely put ahead of KAT the basketball player.”