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DJ's determination to recover stays strong

Critical injuries haven't stopped Mason Dixon from wanting to get back on the air.

By JANET ZINK
Published June 21, 2005


[Photo by Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
WRBQ-FM 104.7 radio personality Mason Dixon's 1971 Dodge Challenger was ripped in half in a car accident Saturday. Mason Dixon, right, had his spleen removed, his lung reinflated and has broken bones.

Update: DJ's condition upgraded


TAMPA - Popular Tampa Bay area radio personality Mason Dixon remained hospitalized in intensive care Monday after a weekend car accident.

Dixon, 55, was critically injured about 12:15 p.m. Saturday after leaving a Father's Day promotional event in northwest Hillsborough County.

"It's just been barely 48 hours, and we've come a long way," his wife, Pat Crawford, told reporters at a news conference at St. Joseph's Hospital Monday. "We have some big guardian angels."

Her husband was working toward sitting up Monday afternoon, she said.

After the accident, doctors removed Dixon's spleen and reinflated his left lung, she said. He also has some broken ribs and possibly a broken clavicle.

She said Dixon, whose real name is Jimmie Crawford, will likely be in the intensive care unit for another day or two. But his determination is strong, she said.

"He's not quite at the point of giving orders, but he's fast approaching it," she said.

Dixon was driving his 1971 Dodge Challenger convertible on S Mobley Road just west of Gunn Highway when he was hit. Nydia Davila, 19, lost control of her 2001 Toyota SUV, drove off the road to the right, veered into oncoming traffic and hit Dixon, according to Cpl. Joe Burt, spokesman for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Davila hit the driver's side of Dixon's convertible, splitting the car in half. Davila, who suffered no serious injuries, was given a citation for careless driving, according to sheriff's officials.

Dixon, who is a morning DJ and program director at WRBQ-FM 104.7, bought the car three weeks ago and had new air conditioning put in Friday, Crawford said.

"I don't think he even realizes now what kind of condition (the car is) in," she said.

Charlie Ochs, senior vice president of Infinity Broadcasting, which owns WRBQ, said digital pictures of the wrecked car were circulating around office computers Monday.

After seeing the damage, he said, Dixon's co-workers realized "miracles do happen," Ochs said.

Ochs said when he visited Dixon in the hospital, the DJ was already talking about getting back on the air.

"I know as soon as Mason can get some kind of line to wherever he is, in the hospital or home, he will be appearing on the show," Ochs said. "He has two passions in his life, in this order: his wife and children, and radio."

Crawford said she and the couple's two daughters, Alicia, 23, and Brandi, 18, have been reading e-mails sent by friends and fans to Dixon.

"He likes hearing that," she said. "It keeps him going."

--Janet Zink can be reached at 813 226-3401 or jzink@sptimes.com

[Last modified June 21, 2005, 02:30:30]


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