After almost two hours of intense rescue work, country legend George Jones was finally freed from his Lexus utility truck that crashed just East of Franklin, Tennessee on Saturday afternoon. The country icon and Country Music Hall of Fame member, perhaps best known for his "He Stopped Lover Her Today" classic, among others, remains in critical condition at Nashville's Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Among several severe injuries, including a collapsed lung and internal bleeding in his right chest area, doctors are most concerned about a ruptured liver, due to the crash. "He is on a ventilator, and it is breathing for him," explained Dr. John A. Morris, Jr., following Jones' admittance into the medical center's trauma unit Saturday, "but we expect this to be a temporary process. We're going to watch him very closely. The liver injury is what we're most concerned about at this juncture."
According to a state Safety Department spokesperson, Jones was talking on his cellular phone to his stepdaughter when he crashed into a concrete bridge railing not far from his Franklin area home at approximately 1:30 pm. State police later reported that the 67-year old entertainer, who was discovered not wearing a seat belt, lost control of his truck on a "curvy, heavily-traveled, two-lane road.
Dr. Morris offered no prognosis, but did report that Jones will most likely remain in critical condition for at least one or two days.
Having recently been signed to a new recording contract with Asylum Records, Jones had already begun work on his forthcoming album release. Only ten minutes or so before the crash, Jones was also talking on his cellular phone from his truck with Asylum Records President Evelyn Shriver. According to Shriver's report to Nashville's The Tennessean, Jones had been listening to several of the upcoming album's songs which he had already recorded. He excitedly called Shriver, for whom he wanted to play the songs over the phone. Shriver also explained that while talking to Jones about the new songs, he had commented about having trouble with his truck's cassette player.
To say the least, backstage emotion at Saturday night's Grand Ole Opry was of deep fret and concern over Jones' severe condition. Among several other country entertainers such as Little Jimmy Dickens, Daryle Singletary and Trace Adkins, Grand Ole Opry host Porter Wagoner said "Everybody is praying for him, hoping he'll pull through."