Grammy-nominated and three million-selling saxophonist Boney James is recovering from injuries he suffered Saturday (5/15) while driving home from a performance at the Newport (CA) Jazz Festival. James was stopped in traffic on the 405 freeway when a drunk driver rear-ended him at 70 MPH, causing a gash in his chin that resulted in 14 stitches, a fractured jaw and two broken teeth. James happened to be on the speaker phone at the time with his wife Lily Mariye, who played Nurse Jarvik on NBC’s “ER” for 15 years.
Immediately upon the crash, James was pulled from his car by passersby who were afraid the car that had hit him — which was fully engulfed in flames — would set his car on fire. OnStar alerted authorities and he was soon taken away by Long Beach Fire & Rescue.
“I’m euphoric,” says Boney. “I’m lucky I wasn’t killed. I just had a near death experience and am relatively unscathed.” Although his car was totaled, the trunk of his BMW stayed intact and his saxophones are apparently fine.
Right after being discharged from the hospital at 1:00 AM Sunday, Boney and his wife went to the office of his dentist, Dr. Amy Roberts, where they temporarily repaired his two front teeth, which were damaged in the crash.
“Lily must have learned a lot on all those years on ‘ER,’” says the affable James. “I’ve always had a fantasy about my wife, the nurse, but was hoping it would be on Halloween or on our anniversary…not in my dentist’s office on a Sunday morning.”
Boney’s May 21 show in Columbia, SC has been canceled, and the status of the 6/21 Sacramento performance is TBA pending his orthodontist’s evaluation this week.
Boney and Lily would like to thank the people who helped him out of his car, Long Beach Fire & Rescue, Long Beach Hospital and Dr. Roberts. “And,” Boney adds, “PLEASE don’t drink and drive.”
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