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Grammy winner Emilio Navaira critically injured in Rio’s bus crash

By CHRIS DUNCAN, Associated Press Writer

HOUSTON, March 24, 2008 (AP): Grammy-winning Tejano singer Emilio Navaira was critically injured Easter Sunday, March 23, when his band’s bus crashed on a highway in the metro area.

Navaira and his band Rio had performed at a Houston nightclub on Saturday night. At about 5 a.m. Sunday, the band’s bus slammed into traffic barrels on Interstate 610 northbound in Bellaire, within the city west of downtown Houston, Bellaire police Sgt. Daniel Kerr said.

Navaira was one of eight occupants on the bus who were injured, said Houston Assistant Fire Chief Omero Longoria. Navaira was listed in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he was being treated in the intensive care unit, said hospital administrator Lisa Lagrone.

He had surgery Sunday to remove a blood clot in his head, said Joe Casias, his agent, who was at the hospital with the hospital.

“The next 24 hours are very critical,” Casias said. ``....on behalf of his family, we hope his fans will pray for Emilio.''

Navaira remained in critical condition late Monday, said Casey Smith, the hospital’s operations administrator.

The bus was the only vehicle involved, Kerr said. It appears that Navaira was the driver.

Navaira, 45, and Rio have released more than a dozen albums, including “Acuerdate” that won the 2003 Grammy for best Tejano album.

On the Net: Emilio Navaira and Rio: http://www.emilioyrio.net

Video from Houston Chronicle Update on Emilio's condition






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