Freeman Still In Serious Condition After Car Crash

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Morgan Freeman remained in serious condition Tuesday with a broken arm and elbow after rescuers used a jaws-of-life machine to free him and a passenger from the wreckage of his car.

Freeman, 71, and Demaris Meyer, 48, of Memphis, Tenn., were taken to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis following the accident on a dark stretch of rural Mississippi Delta highway in Tallahatchie County on Sunday night.

State troopers said the car careened off the highway and flipped end-over-end before landing upright in a ditch.

Bill Rogers, a retired police officer, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he witnessed the accident near the small town of Charleston, not far from where the Oscar-winning actor owns a home with his wife.

"I was watching television about 11:15 and I heard a car sliding on the highway out in front of our house. As I looked out the window, I saw it began to flip after it hit our next-door neighbor's drive," Rogers said. "It went end-over-end about twice and then it came back on its wheels in the ditch. It was a mess."

Rogers said Freeman and Meyer were briefly unconscious when he got to the vehicle. Freeman was driving Meyer's 1997 Nissan Maxima, authorities said.

"Mr. Freeman thought he may have gone to sleep but he wasn't sure," Rogers said. "He didn't know what happened."

"The car was bent on the front as well as rear — I mean severely," Rogers said. "It was so bad I couldn't tell what it was."

The Mississippi Highway Patrol is still investigating the accident, Sgt. Ben Williams said Tuesday. Alcohol and drugs don't appear to be a factor and no citations are likely to be filed, he said.

Freeman was airlifted about 90 miles to the Regional Medical Center where he was treated for a broken arm, broken elbow and shoulder damage, according to his publicist, Donna Freeman.

Hospital spokeswoman Kathy Stringer said Tuesday that Freeman remained in serious condition. Meyer's name wasn't in the hospital registry, Stringer said. However, under medical privacy laws people can request that their names not be listed as patients at a hospital.

Williams said Meyer was in the Memphis hospital when the Highway Patrol checked Monday night and both she and Freeman were in "good spirits."

Rogers said Freeman complained of pain from injuries before being loaded onto a medical helicopter, but "was more concerned about the people around him than himself."

Freeman won an Oscar for his role in "Million Dollar Baby." His screen credits also include "The Dark Knight," now in theaters, "Driving Miss Daisy" and "The Bucket List."


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman was in a hospital in Memphis, Tenn., on Monday after being injured in a car accident near his home in Mississippi.

Freeman's publicist, Donna Lee, issued a statement saying "He has a borken arm, broken elbow and minor shoulder damage but is in good spirits."

Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Ben Williams said Freeman was driving a 1997 Nissan Maxima belonging to Demaris Meyer of Memphis when the car left a rural highway and flipped several times shortly before midnight Sunday.

"There's no indication that either alcohol or drugs were involved," Williams said. He said both Freeman and Meyer were wearing seat belts. The woman's condition was not immediately available.

Freeman was airlifted to the hospital in Tennessee.

Clay McFerrin, editor of Sun Sentinel in Charleston, said he arrived at the accident scene on Mississippi Highway 32 soon after it happened about 5 miles west of Charleston, not far from where Freeman owns a home with his wife.

McFerrin said it appeared that Freeman's car was airborne when it left the highway and landed in a ditch.

"They had to use the jaws of life to extract him from the vehicle," McFerrin said. "He was lucid, conscious. He was talking, joking with some of the rescue workers at one point."

McFerrin said bystanders converged on the scene trying to get a glimpse of the actor.

When one person tried to snap a photo with a cell phone camera, Freeman joked, "no freebies, no freebies," McFerrin said.

Freeman won an Oscar for his role in "Million Dollar Baby." His screen credits also include "The Shawshank Redemption," "Driving Miss Daisy" and "The Dark Knight," now in theaters.

He was born in Memphis, Tenn., but spent much of his childhood in the Mississippi Delta. He is a co-owner of the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale.

The hospital where Freeman is being treated is commonly known as The Med, and is an acute-care teaching facility that serves patients within 150 miles of Memphis.

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  • by Concerned Citizen Location: Greenville on Aug 5, 2008 at 03:28 PM
    Kenny ... keep in mind that some famous people like older cars as it allows them to blend in when out and about. Also the story I heard was that he was driving a friends car.
  • by Tammy Location: Williamston on Aug 5, 2008 at 12:29 PM
    Kenny of Greenville--ummm do it really matter what type of car he was driving? Im thankful that he didnt get killed or hurt much more than he did. Whether a 1997 Maxima or 2009 maxima, the big picture is he had an accident. Get over yourself buddy!! Hope that Mr. Freeman recovers soon, I believe he will though--hang in there, you're gonna come out of this just fine.
  • by lee Location: washington on Aug 5, 2008 at 11:26 AM
    dear mr freeman,i hope you get better soon so ashley edge can watch another one of your movies
  • by Jared Location: Greenville on Aug 5, 2008 at 09:55 AM
    FYI, Mr Freeman had a broken arm, elbow and minor shoulder damage. He is however expected to make a full recovery. Source:AP
  • by Faye Location: Greenville on Aug 5, 2008 at 06:06 AM
    Never forget your "Bucket List" - you have much left to do on this earth buddy, so hang on. You are "the best" when it comes to acting. Looking forward to your speedy recovery and many great movies to come. May God's favor continue to be upon you. You're in my prayers!
  • by Rosebud Location: Lagrange on Aug 4, 2008 at 05:27 PM
    He is one of the best actors ever. I hope and pray he will recover.
  • by wendy Location: goldsboro,nc on Aug 4, 2008 at 03:44 PM
    To kenny in Greenville:Maybe he is not the type person to go all out and spend money on an outragious price car.I would say he is a conservative thank you.The media said he was with a friend not friends.Just because you have money,you don't have to spend it.Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by Joe Stroud Location: morehead city on Aug 4, 2008 at 02:09 PM
    One of the greatest actors of our time. I hope he recovers and can continue to work.
  • by kenny Location: greenville on Aug 4, 2008 at 01:58 PM
    why in the world was he a driving a 1997 maxima? even if it is his friends this guy has made some money!
  • by Anonymous on Aug 4, 2008 at 01:36 PM
    Me too. I love him!
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