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George Jones Released From Hospital

March 19, 1999

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Country singer George Jones walked out of a hospital today, 13 days after a near-fatal traffic accident.

Jones, 67, thanked Vanderbilt University Medical Center doctors and nurses before climbing aboard his tour bus for the ride home to the Nashville suburb of Franklin, hospital spokesman Wayne Wood said.

``At the family’s request, there was no media called, no pictures. They wanted him to get on the bus with no fuss and go home,″ Wood said.

Wood called Jones’ recovery ``amazing ... considering that two weeks ago I don’t think anybody would dispute that he had very life-threatening injuries, especially the liver injury.″

Jones lost control of his sport utility vehicle and crashed into a bridge while driving near his home March 6. His family said he was talking to his stepdaughter on a cellular phone at the time.

Jones, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, suffered a punctured lung and lacerated liver, but no head injuries.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s initial investigation cited inattentiveness and use of the phone as factors in the crash. Investigators also are looking into whether alcohol was involved.

A half-pint of vodka described as less than half-full was found under the passenger’s seat of Jones’ vehicle, according to the highway patrol.

The highway patrol is considering whether to ask prosecutors to seek a subpoena of Jones’ hospital records, which include results from a blood-alcohol test, patrol spokeswoman Dana Keeton said earlier this week.

Evelyn Shriver, a close friend of Jones and president of Asylum’s Records Nashville office, said Jones’ family will fight any effort to turn over the records.

Jones, who has a long history of alcohol and drug abuse, charted more than 140 records, including classics like ``He Stopped Loving Her Today″ and ``A Good Year for the Roses.″

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