Country Icon Mickey Gilley Makes Passionate Plea After Surviving Car Crash
Mickey Gilley's Personal Update Page / Facebook
A big star during the 1970s and 1980s, country and pop artist Mickey Gilley is known for his many hits, including “A Room Full of Roses” and “Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time.” At age 81, the 1976 ACM Entertainer of the Year remains active as a performer today.
Mickey even has a theatre named in his honor in the city of Branson, Missouri. It was while he was traveling to that theatre on January 3 that he was involved in a serious car accident along with his son, Michael.
The Gilleys were driving through the town of Lufkin, Texas when another vehicle ran through a stop sign at an intersection and crossed in front of them. Michael, who was driving, tried to swerve in order to avoid a crash, but still struck the other vehicle despite his efforts.
Mickey and Michael’s car ended up rolling over three times before it finally rested on its roof on the side of the highway. Mickey was severely injured in the crash, and was left with a fractured left ankle, fractured right shoulder, cracked sternum, and cracked rib.
Despite his injuries, Mickey remained optimistic about being able to return to the road again shortly. In a video message he shared with his fans, he promised he wouldn’t retire, saying, “To be eighty-one years old and put myself through what I’ve been through, it’s kinda tough sometimes on the old man, but I don’t intend to retire. I will be out there on the road and I’ll see you real soon.”
Now that Mickey had some time to recover, he’s using his horrific experience as a lesson for others. In partnership with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, Mickey is helping with a new campaign that promotes the importance of seat belt usage.
In a passionate plea to his fans and all who would listen, Mickey encouraged everyone to always wear their seat belts. He cited his own accident as an example, saying that the seatbelt saved him.
“Had I not been wearing my seatbelt, I’m sure I would’ve been ejected,” said Mickey in a press release issued by the Tennessee Highway Safety Office. “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 seat belts, because seat belts do save lives.”
The same press release states that last year, 80 people died in the state of Tennessee “in vehicle over turn/rollover crashes” like the one Mickey was involved in. According to the organization, 32 of those individuals who were killed were not wearing their seat belts.
Mickey further emphasized the importance of seatbelt usage in a video PSA he filmed for the campaign. In the video, he makes his plea as simple as can be, saying, “This belt saved my life, it can save yours.”
You can watch Mickey’s full PSA video below. We’re so glad to see that Mickey is recovering after his crash, and that he’s using his experience to help others.