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Norman Greenbaum of ‘Spirit in the Sky’ Fame Critically Injured in Car Crash

Norman Greenbaum
GAB Archive, Getty Images

Norman Greenbaum, whose song “Spirit in the Sky” hit No. 3 in 1970, is currently in critical condition in a Santa Rosa, Calif., hospital after a car in which he was a passenger was involved in an accident that has left one person dead.

According to the Press Democrat, Greenbaum was riding in a Subaru Outback on Saturday (March 28) when the driver, Bonita Perea, made a left turn. Motorcyclist Ihab Usama Halaweh was traveling in the other direction and struck the car where Greenbaum was sitting. Halaweh was killed instantly, while his passenger, Nhmia Mekonnen Kahsay, was seriously injured and, along with Greenbaum, is in critical condition at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Perea was unharmed, but Santa Rosa Fire Battalion Chief Jack Piccinini said, “She’s very shaken by the whole incident.”

The California Highway Patrol have already ruled out alcohol as a factor, but they are still investigating the accident, including the speed of the motorcycle.

The article states that Halaweh, 20, was an avid motorcyclist who often posted pictures of 2004 Suzuki GSX-R600, which he called “my baby,” on his Facebook page. In January, he said that he was hoping “to get a few stunts down” before summer.

Greenbaum released “Spirit in the Sky” in late 1969. It has frequently been used in commercials and movies, most recently last summer’s blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy.

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