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Blues guitar legend Eddie Kirkland "Gypsy of the Blues" killed in Citrus County bus crash

1:39 AM, Mar 1, 2011   |    comments
  • Eddie Kirkland
  • A Greyhound bus collides Sunday with a Ford Taurus driven by blues legend Eddie Kirkland. Kirkland died in the crash. No one on board the bus was injured. Photos courtesy: Florida Highway Patrol
  • A Greyhound bus collides Sunday with a Ford Taurus driven by blues legend Eddie Kirkland. Kirkland died in the crash. No one on board the bus was injured. Photos courtesy: Florida Highway Patrol
    
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Homosassa, Florida - The man killed in a collision with a Greyhound bus Sunday morning is blues guitar legend Eddie Kirkland.

The 88-year-old performer from Macon, Georgia was in the Bay area this weekend for a show at the Dunedin Brewery. Born in Jamaica and raised in Alabama, Kirkland went on to record and tour with John Lee Hooker for seven and a half years and was the former band leader for Otis Redding.

According to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol, Sunday morning around 8:30 Kirkland attempted to make a u-turn in front of the bus at the intersection of U.S. 98 and Oak Park Boulevard. His Ford Taurus was hit on the right side and pushed an estimated 200 feet.

Kirkland was flown to Tampa General Hospital but died a short time later. The bus driver and 13 passengers on board were not injured.

A message posted on Kirkland's official website reads, "Cry a river of tears for the lord has called the road warrior home."

Sunday night, fans left comments on Kirkland's Facebook page.

J.B. Harris wrote: "Eddie was living history. His life spanned from the original blues greats like John Lee Hooker, Bessie Smith and Muddy Waters, to Koko Taylor, BB King and Buddy Guy. Glad I got to see him play twice, once at Bradfordville Blues Club in Tallahassee and again at The Stage In Miami, and that my son got to meet him as well. I know you're in blues heaven Eddie. Play on."

Beau Zimmer, 10 News

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