NEW YORK (CBS) ― Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman was in a hospital in Memphis, Tenn., on Monday after being injured in a car accident in Mississippi.
Regional Medical Center spokeswoman Kathy Stringer said Freeman, 71, is in serious condition. The hospital is about 90 miles north of the accident scene in rural Tallahatchie County in the Mississippi Delta.
Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Ben Williams confirmed Freeman was in a wreck shortly before midnight Sunday, but said he was still gathering information and had few details Monday.
Clay McFerrin, editor of Sun Sentinel in Charleston, said he arrived at the accident scene on Mississippi Highway 32 soon after it happened about 4 miles west of Charleston, not far from where Freeman owns a home with his wife.
McFerrin said it appeared that Freeman's car was airborne when it left the highway and landed in a ditch.
"They had to use the jaws of life to extract him from the vehicle," McFerrin said. "He was lucid, conscious. He was talking, joking with some of the rescue workers at one point."
McFerrin said bystanders converged on the scene trying to get a glimpse of the actor.
When one person tried to snap a photo with a cell phone camera, Freeman joked, "no freebies, no freebies," McFerrin said.
Freeman won an Oscar for his role in "Million Dollar Baby." His screen credits also include "The Shawshank Redemption" and "Driving Miss Daisy."
The hospital where Freeman is being treated is commonly known as The Med, and is an acute-care teaching facility that serves patients within 150 miles of Memphis.
Freeman has recently been well known for his role as God in the hit movie "Bruce Almighty" and its sequel, "Evan Almighty," as well as his role as Lucius Fox in the critical and commercial success Batman Begins and its 2008 sequel, "The Dark Knight."