Rodney Atkins Says Son Is Uninjured After Car Accident: 'It's an Opportunity to Look Around'
UPDATE: Rodney Atkins sent a statement to Billboard after this story was published. "The most important thing is that Elijah and his friends are fine, not a scratch on them," the statement reads. "He was, unfortunately, hit by a drunk driver and his truck is totaled. I don’t even want to entertain the thought of what could have happened, I just thank God for the fact that everyone is alright."
Rodney Atkins says his 16-year-old son Elijah was uninjured after being involved in a drunk-driving accident last week.
Speaking to Taste of Country, Atkins said that Elijah, who began the new school year last week, was in an accident in which a "methed-out drunk driver hit him."
No other details were available at press time about where the incident took place or who the other driver was -- requests for comment from Atkins' camp had not been returned at press time -- but the singer said Elijah was "fine...not a scratch on him, but it totaled his truck."
The "Caught Up in the Country" singer described writing one of his biggest hits (2006's "Watching You") for Elijah when he was a child, with the song's message gaining renewed importance after the scare. In the tune, Atkins tells the tale of him driving in his car with his son in a booster seat when he suddenly slams on the brakes, sending the contents of a Happy Meal flying. The little boy curses, and when asked where he learned the four-letter word, he says, "I've been watching you dad, ain't that cool?"
"I talked to him, and I said, 'It's okay, you walked away from this. It's an opportunity to look around, and something good is gonna come out of it,'" Atkins says he told his son after the accident. "And he said, 'Oh, I know, Dad. I know from watching you; I've learned that when the worst things happen in your life to keep your head up, because that's when some of the best things are gonna happen.'"
After seven years without a new studio album, Atkins returned earlier this year with "Caught Up," with his fifth album for Curb slated for later this year.
Watch Atkins talk about the accident below.