Norman Greenbaum of 'Spirit in the Sky' fame injured in California crash

Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:29pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Norman Greenbaum, a singer-songwriter best known for the hit song "Spirit in the Sky", was critically injured in a car crash north of San Francisco that killed a motorcyclist, California police said on Sunday.

Greenbaum, 72, was transported to a Santa Rosa area hospital with critical injuries on Saturday after the car he was riding in made a left turn without seeing an oncoming motorcycle and the vehicles collided, California Highway Patrol said.

The motorcyclist was "evidently unable to slow or stop in time to avoid a collision," CHP said. The driver of the motorcycle, a 20-year old Santa Rosa resident, was pronounced dead at the scene.

CHP said Bonita Kay Perea, 62, who was driving the vehicle Greenbaum was riding in, said she did not see the oncoming motorcycle and was unable to stop in time.

"Spirit in the Sky" sold two million singles in 1970, according to Greenbaum's website.

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital which was treating Greenbaum, a Santa Rosa resident, declined to provide details about his injuries.

A 20-year-old passenger on the motorcycle suffered critical injuries and was transported to hospital and was being treated in an intensive care unit.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle, Editing by Chris Michaud and Michael Perry)