Monday, August 04, 2008

Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman is injured in car accident 3 August 2008.

Actor Morgan Freeman is in a hospital in Memphis, Tenn., on Monday 3 August after being seriously injured in a car accident near his home in Mississippi.

Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Kathy Stringer said Freeman, 71, is in serious condition. The hospital is about 90 miles north of the accident scene in rural Tallahatchie County in the Mississippi Delta.

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.

Demaris Meyer, the owner of the car, is merely a good friend of Morgan Freeman. Bill Rogers, who saw the accident happen, recalled a conversation he had with Freeman at the scene: "He said that she had offered him a ride home; that they were friends, and she didn't really know the way and so he was going to drive the vehicle."

"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.

Freeman said he was feeling "real good" on Thursday, 7 August after his release from a Memphis, Tennessee, hospital where he was treated for broken bones and other injuries from a weekend car crash.

Freeman, 71, lost control of the car he was driving late on Sunday night near a home he keeps in Charleston, Mississippi, and was airlifted to the trauma center of the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, about 100 miles (160 km) away.

"I left the hospital today, just after 12 noon, Memphis time," the co-star of the blockbuster Batman movie "The Dark Knight" said in a brief statement.

"I'm doing very well. I feel real good."

He concluded by thanking hospital staff and well-wishers, saying, "It's great to know people care about you."
Freeman's publicist, Donna Lee, said on Monday the actor suffered a broken arm and elbow and "minor shoulder damage" but was expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery.

The celebrity news TV show "Entertainment Tonight" reported on its website that Freeman underwent surgery on Monday to reconnect nerves and repair damage to his left arm and hand.

A passenger and owner of the car Freeman was driving, a female friend identified as Demaris Meyer, was also injured.

Freeman and his wife, Myrna Colley-Lee, “are involved in a divorce action.”

It has also been reported that the two have actually been separated ‘for legal and practical purposes’ since December 2007.

Myrna Colley-Lee was born in 1941 in Hamlett, North Carolina, which makes her age 67. Myrna attended college in North Carolina and went on to get her M.F.A from Temple University. She has gone on to do costume work on several plays and is currently working on Till, which will run at Brown University. Alongside theatre, Myrna has worked on several television and film projects. She is also very involved in supporting the arts, serving on such boards as Charleston Arts and Revitalization Effort, Inc. and the Rock River Foundation.

Myrna married Morgan Freeman in 1984 after dating for eight years. Freeman has allegedly had a reputation for “liking the ladies” but the couple was married for 24 years.

Their marriage was the second for both and they have one child together. Myrna also has a child from a previous marriage who Morgan adopted, and he has two other children. The couple have a 126-acre ranch near Charleston, Mississippi.

Hopefully, the two can somehow work it out. They’ve been together for so long!



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