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Country Singer Dottie West Hurt in Crash Near Opryland

September 01, 1991|Associated Press

NASHVILLE — Country music singer Dottie West suffered a ruptured liver and possible broken neck in a car accident at the Opryland USA theme park, and doctors said Saturday that they had not determined whether she was paralyzed.

West, 58, who performed duets with Kenny Rogers in the late 1970s, was riding in a car that went airborne as it exited a highway into the theme park Friday night.

The singer underwent nearly 90 minutes of surgery at Vanderbilt Medical Center late Friday and was listed in critical but stable condition Saturday in the surgical intensive care unit, spokeswoman Barbara Cramer said.

George Thackston, 81, the driver, was listed in critical condition.

West's manager, Wayne Oliver, said that the singer was in and out of consciousness during a brief visit Saturday morning.

One of her three sons, Kerry West, described his mother as coherent. "She recognized me," he said at a news conference. "It was great to feel her hand squeeze mine."

West was slightly injured on July 19 when her car ran into a ditch as she drove to a performance on the Grand Ole Opry country music show, which was her destination Friday night.

Her belongings were auctioned in June to satisfy an Internal Revenue Service debt. She filed a bankruptcy petition in 1990, listing more than $1 million in debts.

West won a 1964 Grammy Award for her song "Here Comes My Baby," the first country music Grammy won by a woman.

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