After Rollover Crash, Mickey Gilley Reminds Fans to Wear Their Seatbelts
Mickey Gilley had a scary close call early this year: On Jan. 3, the singer and his son Michael were involved in a rollover car accident after the driver of another car failed to stop at a stop sign. Both men will be okay, and Michael Gilley was largely unharmed in the accident, but the country star suffered several injuries including a fractured ankle, a fractured shoulder, a cracked sternum and a cracked rib.
While still on the mend, Gilley has announced that he will be partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) to promote seatbelt usage. Readers can press play on the video above to see the singer's official PSA about the incident and his commitment to promoting road safety among his fans.
Gilley credits his seatbelt for the fact that his injuries are not substantially worse. "Had I not been wearing my seatbelt, I'm sure I would have been ejected," the singer said. "My car rolled about three times over. I want to share my story with Tennesseans to encourage everyone in the South to take pride in wearing seatbelts, because seatbelts do save lives."
Gilley is known for hits such as "Don't All The Girls Get Prettier At Closing Time," "Room Full Of Roses," and a country take on "Stand By Me." He netted five ACM Awards in 1976, including the award for Entertainer of the Year. However, this accident was not the country star's first brush with near-tragedy: In 2009, Gilley suffered a fall while helping a friend move a 40-pound piece of furniture and was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down. As a musician, he was determined to regain his ability to perform, and he made a full recovery after months of intensive physical therapy.
On Feb. 1, the THSO will kick off its fifth annual Seatbelts Are For Everyone (SAFE) campaign, dedicated to increasing the rate of seatbelt usage across the state of Tennessee. "In 2016, Tennessee's average seatbelt usage rate was 88.95%. Last year, the state's usage rate decreased to 88.51%," THSO Director Vic Donoho said in a statement. "Our goal this year is to achieve 100 percent seatbelt usage across Tennessee through the SAFE campaign and other occupant-protection initiatives."
Gilley's car wreck was a dangerous accident, but it has a silver lining: Hopefully, his PSA will help increase the seatbelt usage rate throughout Tennessee, as well as the country on the whole. To learn more about the THSO and the importance of seatbelts, check out their website.
Country Music's Scariest Bus Accidents