Actor Morgan Freeman hospitalized at The MED after accident - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Actor Morgan Freeman hospitalized at The MED after accident

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Morgan Freeman at an appearance in Memphis last May. Morgan Freeman at an appearance in Memphis last May.
Demaris Meyer (courtesy RSVP Magazine) Demaris Meyer (courtesy RSVP Magazine)
Grass was torn up at the spot where the car came to rest. Grass was torn up at the spot where the car came to rest.
An officer controls traffic Monday afternoon near the accident scene. An officer controls traffic Monday afternoon near the accident scene.

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman was involved in a serious car accident Sunday night in north Mississippi.

Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesperson Ben Williams said Freeman, 71, and a passenger, Demaris Meyer, were traveling eastbound on Mississippi Highway 32  in Tallahatchie County around 11:30pm when his vehicle went off the edge of the road.

Freeman overcorrected, flipping the 1997 Nissan Maxima he was driving several times before coming to a rest.

Bill Rogers, who lives along Highway 32, witnessed the accident.  "I jumped up, looked out, and I could see the car rolling across the grass out here, flipping," he said.

Emergency crews removed Freeman and Meyer from the vehicle using the jaws of life.  According to Williams, they were both airlifted to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis.

"There's no indication that either alcohol or drugs were involved," Williams said, adding that both Freeman and Meyer were wearing seat belts.

Clay McFerrin, editor of Sun Sentinel in Charleston, told the AP he arrived at the scene soon after the accident happened.  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.

The car landed in Lisa Hudson's front yard.  Hudson quickly ran over to the car to help.

"I kind of grabbed his hand, and he was asking me to help him get out," she said.

Hudson was not the only person at the scene.  McFerrin said bystanders converged, trying to get a glimpse of the actor.  When one person tried to snap a photo with a cell phone camera, McFerrin said Freeman joked, "no freebies, no freebies."

Kathy Stringer, a spokesperson at The MED, said Freeman was listed in serious condition Monday morning.  Bill Luckett, a business partner of Freeman's said the actor suffered a broken arm and had other injuries.

The AP reported the Maxima belonged to Meyer, a Memphis resident.  She was released from the hospital Monday.

Freeman, who won an Academy Award for his performance in 2004's Million Dollar Baby, is a co-owner of the Ground Zero Blues Club in downtown Memphis.   He can currently be seen in theaters in the Batman sequel The Dark Knight and the Angelina Jolie thriller Wanted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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