Spirit in the Sky singer Norman Greenbaum in critical condition after fatal car crash

A motorcyclist died in the crash

Singer-songwriter Norman Greenbaum, who is best known for his hit song Spirit in the Sky, is in a critical condition following a car crash west of Santa Rosa, California, which killed a motorcyclist.

The 72-year-old was a passenger in a Subaru Outback when its driver, reported by CNN to be Bonita Kay Perea, 62, turned left and crossed into the motorcycle's path in Santa Rosa on Saturday afternoon.

The driver of the motorcycle, Ihab Usama Halaweh, was killed in the incident, while his passenger, Nhmia Mekonnen Kahsay, was being treated for critical injuries, the California Highway Patrol said according to CNN.

Greenbaum is currently being treated at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

The singer penned and sang the internationally recognised song Spirit in the Sky in 1969. Since then it has featured in 50 films and several TV shows, including the 1995 film Apollo 13 and Ocean’s Eleven, which was released in 2001.

In an interview with the New York Times in 2006, Greenbaum revealed that it took him just 15 minutes to write the song, but its royalties mean he no longer has to work.

“Because of Spirit in the Sky, I don't have to work. So in that sense, it's a comfortable living," he said.

Additional reporting by PA

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