Monday, March 24, 2008

Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery

Our thoughts and prayers are with you Emilio.

Wishing you Godspeed in getting better and back in health.

Emilio's bus crashes in Houston
Ramiro Burr: Express-News

Tejano superstar Emilio Navaira remained in critical condition in a Houston hospital after his tour bus crashed early Sunday.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Navaira was one of eight people injured in the crash. He was flown by a medical helicopter to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where hospital administrator Lisa Lagrone listed him in critical condition.
Others in the bus were taken to Memorial Hermann and Ben Taub hospitals.

Navaira, 45, and his band Rio had played at the Houston nightclub Hallabaloo's on Saturday night. According to the Chronicle, the tour bus was traveling north on Loop 610 by Southwest Freeway when it struck a set of freeway barrels at about 5 a.m.

The Chronicle quoted Bellaire police Sgt. Daniel Kerr as saying, "For some reason, the driver lost control and hit the barrels. We don't know why yet. He (the driver) was ejected through the front window."

Kerr would not confirm later Sunday if Navaira was driving, but other officials at the scene said Navaira was behind the wheel at the time.

Kerr said a blood test would be administered to the driver but that there was no evidence at the scene indicating alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Navaira and most of his family call San Antonio home. Family friends said much of the family was in Houston at the hospital and trying to avoid the media. They could not be reached for comment.

"I think they got the family in hiding. They do not want to talk to anybody," said Joey Rodriguez, manager for David Lee Garza y Los Musicales, a close friend of Navaira for many years who was in touch with the family.

Late Sunday, hospital officials were not releasing any additional details on Navaira's condition.
However, another family friend who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the family, said Navaira suffered serious head injuries in the accident. He said doctors had to open his skull to relieve some of the pressure.

"They told me they had to induce a coma to help relieve that pressure," Rodriguez said. "They told me that had given him a 20 percent chance (of surviving), so the next 24 hours is critical."
Rodriguez and the family friend confirmed that family members said Navaira was driving the bus at the time of the accident.

Hospital officials scheduled a 10 a.m. news conference today at Hermann Conference Center for an update.

Other friends of the family said they saw Emilio's younger brother and bandmate, Raul, walking with the family at the hospital Sunday afternoon.
Raul was among the people on the bus who were treated and released earlier.
Eden Barrera Jr., a Navaira fan in Houston, said he drove by the accident site a few hours after it happened.

"I happened to have my camera, so I took a lot of photos," Barrera said. "When I saw the bus I was shocked. It was still up on the median and leaning to one side, so it almost rolled over.

"From what I could see there was nothing left of the front cab. The cab is completely smashed in. It is unbelievable that anyone could have survived the crash."

Dave Arevalo, a San Antonio community organizer and National Night Out organizer, who grew up with Emilio on the South Side, said a prayer vigil has been scheduled for 7 tonight at the Alamodome Parking Lot A.

The rally is scheduled next to a short street renamed Emilio Navaira Jr. Boulevard., after Emilio's father, in 2005.

"It's a little street, next to the bridge at Durango and Hoefgen," Arevalo said. "I felt we need to do something, like prayer. He has a lot of fans, and we want to use the power of prayer.
"Emilio's father used to have a barbershop called La Victoria Barbershop on that corner, which is right next to the Victoria Courts."

For information on the vigil, Arevalo can be contacted at (210) 391-6497.

Navaira, known by his fans by one name — Emilio — began his 20-year-plus career as lead singer for David Lee Garza y Los Musicales.

At the time, he was studying for a music degree at Texas State University-San Marcos, then Southwest Texas State.

In 1989, he went solo and quickly rose as an influential force in the rising movement that became Tejano's massive renaissance in the early '90s. His early hits, many of them written by his brother Raul, included "Sensaciones," "Ya Ahora Es Tarde," "Como Le Hare" and "Que Diablos Me Pasa."

By the mid-'90s Emilio and Selena were considered the undisputed king and queen of Tejano, each having played in front of 70,000 fans at the Houston Astrodome for the Houston Rodeo's Go Tejano Day several times.

They also dominated the annual Tejano Music Awards. Selena was shot and killed in 1995.
In 1995, Navaira released "Life is Good," his first all-country CD, produced by noted Nashville wiz Barry Beckett. The next year Emilio followed that with "On the House," again produced by Beckett. Both CDs produced hits such as "It's Not the End of the World" and "Somebody Stop Me."

In 2003, Navaira won a Grammy for his CD "Acuerdate." His latest CD is "De Nuevo," released in September.

Like several celebrities, Emilio has seen his share of troubles.

He was arrested for driving while intoxicated in September 2000. That followed his arrest in January of that year on charges of assaulting a girlfriend and resisting arrest, charges that were later dropped.