Songwriter injured in California crash; motorcyclist killed

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — A singer-songwriter behind the 1969 rock hit “Spirit in the Sky” has been critically injured in a Northern California car accident that killed a motorcyclist.

The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1BBlH8X ) that 72-year-old Norman Greenbaum wrote and sang the hit song featured in 50 movies and several TV shows.

Sgt. David Derczo of the California Highway Patrol tells the newspaper that Greenbaum, a longtime resident of Santa Rosa, was the passenger of a Subaru Outback that turned left, crossing into the motorcycle’s path.

Derczo says the motorcycle’s 20-year-old driver, Ihab Usama Halaweh, died at the scene; his passenger was also critically injured.

The newspaper says Greenbaum and the motorcycle passenger are being treated at a hospital.

Officials say the car’s driver was not injured; alcohol isn’t suspected.