Actor Gary Busey, critically injured when his unprotected head hit a curb in a weekend motorcycle accident, was alert and able to speak "a few words" Monday, and a state lawmaker reintroduced a bill requiring motorcyclists wear helmets.
Busey, a 1978 Academy Award nominee for his performance in "The Buddy Holly Story" who has been an outspoken critic of such legislation, was upgraded from critical to serious condition at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he underwent brain surgery late Sunday."His condition continues to improve," hospital spokesman Ron Wise said Monday. "He is awake, and there has been some communication. He is able to say a few words, he is able to recognize his immediate family and respond to directions."
Wise said Busey's improvement shows "no indication of brain damage."
Doctors plan to keep Busey in intensive care for a few more days.
The 44-year-old Malibu resident was not wearing a helmet when the accident occurred Sunday morning.
Legislation requiring motorcyclists wear helmets was introduced Monday in the Legislature by Assemblyman Dick Floyd. A similar bill authored by Floyd won passage earlier this year but was vetoed by Gov. George Deukmejian.
Late Sunday, doctors performed a 90-minute operation to remove two blood clots lodged between his brain and his skull, Wise said.