Tejano singer Emilio Navaira was critically injured when his band's bus crashed on a highway in Texas, officials said.

Navaira and his band Rio had performed at a Houston nightclub on Saturday night. At about 5 a.m. Sunday, the band's bus slammed into traffic barrels on Interstate 610 northbound in Bellaire, a well-to-do enclave within the city west of downtown Houston, Bellaire police Sgt. Daniel Kerr said.

Navaira was one of eight passengers on the bus who were injured, said Houston Assistant Fire Chief Omero Longoria. Navaira was listed in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he was being treated in the intensive care unit, said hospital administrator Lisa Lagrone.

He had surgery Sunday to remove a blood clot in his head, said Joe Casias, his agent, who was at the hospital with the hospital.

"The next 24 hours are very critical," Casias said. "....on behalf of his family, we hope his fans will pray for Emilio."

Navaira remained in critical condition early Monday, said Casey Smith, the hospital's operations administrator.

The bus was the only vehicle involved, Kerr said. Initial news reports, based on video from traffic cameras at the scene, had said three vehicles were involved.
Navaira, 45, and Rio have released more than a dozen albums, including "Acuerdate" that won the 2003 Grammy for best Tejano album.

According to the band's Web site, Navaira was born in San Antonio and earned a music scholarship from Texas State. In 1989, he formed the band with brother Raul, who was among those who suffered minor injuries, two Houston television stations reported.

Five people were taken to Ben Taub Hospital, where their conditions were not immediately known, Longoria said. A hospital spokeswoman would not give out any information, citing health privacy laws.

Two others were treated at Memorial Hermann and released, Lagrone said.

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