George Jones, country music's supreme example of the wages of sin, beat the odds today--checking out of a Nashville hospital less than two weeks after nearly losing his life in a one-car accident.

Like the venerable performer he is, the 67-year-old singer climbed aboard his trusty old tour bus in the parking lot of Vanderbilt University Medical Center--and hit the road.

For now, the road heads straight to his nearby home. Jones may be quite the medical specimen, but he is mortal. The guy's got some healing to do.

Jones suffered a deep cut to the liver and a punctured lung in the March 6 accident. The liver injury was considered the most potentially deadly.

"Amazing," is how Vanderbilt spokesman Wayne Wood termed Jones' turnabout. It was just a week ago, in fact, that the entertainer--somehow on the mend from the internal bleeding--developed pneumonia and was returned to a ventilator. By early this week, Jones was breathing on his own again. And, come today, the release.

"At the family's request, there was no media called, no pictures," Wood told Associated Press. "They wanted him to get on the bus with no fuss and go home."

While Jones' health apparently is clearing up, questions about the cause of the accident linger. It was originally reported that Jones, once a notorious boozer, drove into a bridge while talking on a cel phone--no alcohol involved.

But then it was revealed that authorities did turn up a partially drained bottle of vodka in the car. While police continue to say the crash was not alcohol-related, a belated highway-patrol investigation is under way. A local prosecutor is also trying to track down witnesses to the accident.

Reportedly, though, the Jones family is vowing to fight any attempt to unseal the singer's medical records--including blood tests.

Jones is best known for country standards such as "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and "The Race Is On."

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