Originally created 04/27/04

Billy Joel in third car accident in two years



BAYVILLE, N.Y. -- Singer Billy Joel was involved in his third car accident in two years Sunday when he slammed into a house on a wet road on Long Island. No one was seriously injured.

There was no evidence that alcohol or drugs were involved and Joel was not suspected of any crime, said Nassau County police Officer Joan Eames.

Joel suffered a small cut on a finger but refused medical attention, Eames said.

Joel was alone in the car, and no one in the house was injured, police said.

Thomas Phillips Jr. was on his front lawn when he heard the crash and went over to see what happened.

Joel "seemed embarrassed that he lost control of the car," Phillips said. "He said, 'I can't believe I got in another accident.' He was just going out to get a pizza."

A call to Joel's publicist, Claire Mercuri, was not immediately returned.

Last year Joel was hospitalized after smashing his car into a tree along a Long Island highway. No summonses were issued, and Joel was not given a Breathalyzer test.

Joel escaped serious injury in a crash in East Hampton in June 2002.

He later checked into a substance abuse and psychiatric center, reportedly after becoming depressed when a respiratory infection forced him to cut short a tour with fellow piano player Elton John.

Joel and model Christie Brinkley, who divorced in 1994, have a teenage daughter, Alexa Ray. Following last year's accident, Brinkley expressed concern about their daughter riding in a car with him.

Joel, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has had more than two dozen Top 10 hits, including his signature 1974 song "Piano Man." The Broadway musical "Movin' Out" is devoted to his music.