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Morgan Freeman 'in good spirits' after crash

Actor Morgan Freeman was in "good spirits" in hospital after breaking his arm and elbow in a car crash, his spokesman said.

The Oscar-winning actor was airlifted to the Regional Medical Centre in Memphis, Tennessee, where his condition was described as "serious" following the crash on a highway in rural Mississippi shortly before midnight local time on Sunday (6am BST yesterday).

Freeman "has a broken arm, broken elbow and minor shoulder damage, but is in good spirits," according to a statement from his publicist Donna Lee.

The 71-year-old is expected to make a "good" recovery, Freeman's spokesman told showbiz website TMZ.com.

Highway Patrol spokesman Sergeant Ben Williams said Freeman was driving a 1997 Nissan Maxima which belonged to Demaris Meyer, of Memphis, when the car left a rural highway and overturned several times.

"There's no indication that either alcohol or drugs were involved," Mr Williams said.

He added that both Freeman and Ms Meyer were wearing seatbelts.

There was still no information on Ms Meyer's condition, he said.

The crash happened north of the small town of Ruleville in rural Tallahatchie County in the Mississippi Delta.

Freeman was airlifted from the accident scene to the hospital, around 90 miles away in Memphis, Tennessee, where he is being treated.

State troopers told TMZ.com that Freeman was talking before he was taken to the hospital.

The hospital, commonly known as The Med, is an acute-care teaching facility which serves patients within 150 miles of Memphis.

Clay McFerrin, editor of Sun Sentinel in Charleston, said he arrived at the crash scene on Mississippi Highway 32 soon after it happened about four miles west of Charleston.

Freeman, who won an Oscar in 2005 for his role in Million Dollar Baby, lives near Charleston with his wife, Myrna, on a 126-acre ranch with a main house, peach trees and horse stables.

Mr McFerrin said it appeared that the car Freeman was driving was airborne went it left the highway and landed in a ditch.

"They had to use the jaws of life (hydraulic cutters) to extract him from the vehicle," he said.

"He was lucid, conscious. He was talking, joking with some of the rescue workers at one point."

Mr McFerrin said bystanders converged on the scene trying to get a glimpse of the actor.

He added that when one person tried to take a photo with a mobile phone camera, Freeman said: "No freebies, no freebies."