Morgan Freeman

AP Photo/Kristie Bull/

Morgan Freeman just had the darkest night of his life.

The Oscar-winning Batman sidekick is in serious condition in a Memphis hospital after rolling his car on a rural stretch of Mississippi highway late Sunday.

Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Ben Williams confirmed to E! News that Freeman and his female passenger, Demaris Meyer, were heading east on state Highway 32 in Ruleville about 11:30 p.m. The 71-year-old actor was piloting Meyer's 1997 Nissan Maxima, lost control of the vehicle and then overcorrected, causing the car to flip several times before coming to a rest right-side up.

"It's just a typical accident," Williams told E! News. "It was on a dark road, it was late, this portion of the highway is rural."

Williams said there was no signs of alcohol being involved. Both Freeman and Meyer, 48, were both wearing seatbelts.

"I think it's safe to say no charges are planned," Williams said.

Rescue crews needed the jaws of life to free Freeman and Meyer from the mangled Maxima as the car doors had jammed as it rolled off the road.

Nonetheless, Freeman and his passenger were coherent enough at the scene to talk to the emergency crews.

"They were both conscious. He was aware of what was going on, joking," Williams told E! News.

Clay McFerrin, editor of the Sun Sentinel in nearby Charleston, Miss., was one of many curious neighbors to rush to the scene. He told the Associated Press that Freeman even cracked wise to the onlookers, saying, "No freebies, no freebies," when people began pulling out their camera phones.

CBS' Memphis affiliate, WREG, reported that Freeman may have fallen asleep at the wheel, which Williams would not confirm.

Freeman and Meyer were both airlifted to the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, a facility roughly 90 miles north of the scene of the accident.

Officials told E! News that while injuries to both parties were apparent, they could not confirm specifics and were awaiting updated condition reports on both.

Freeman and his wife, Myrna, have a home in the town of Charleston, about 4 miles from the accident scene.

—Additional reporting by Matt Donnelly

(Originally published on Aug. 4, 2008, at 9:03 a.m. PT.)

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