Gloria Estefan Recalls Near-Fatal Tour Bus Crash: ‘The Pain Was Excruciating’

Gloria Estefan recalls 1990 bus crash on 'Red Table Talk: The Estefans'

On the Nov. 11 episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans, Gloria Estefan spoke out about the horrific tour bus crash three decades ago that left her temporarily unable to walk.

As images and news reports about the crash flashed on screen at the start of the episode, Estefan explained that she was headed that morning to a party for a Sony executive.

“Emilio was on the phone with his brother, Jose, Lili’s dad… and boom. We got rear-ended by a fully-loaded 18-wheeler and there was what felt like an explosion,” Estefan told her daughter Emily and niece Lili at the red table.

Related Story: Gloria Estefan Reveals on ‘Red Table Talk’ She Battled Suicidal Thoughts

“I am looking around, and it is mayhem,” she said. “Emilio is over me, wild-eyed, screaming, ‘Are you OK?’ He’s covered in blood.”

The “Get on Your Feet” singer said the pain was overwhelming, but she was more concerned about her son.

“I tried to get up. I had the taste of electricity in my mouth… the pain was excruciating. I kept praying to God… ‘I don’t care if I’m paralyzed, I don’t care what happens to me, please let [Nayib] be okay,’” she recalled.

Estefan invited her husband, musician and producer Emilio, to join her in retelling the details of the crash and its aftermath.

“It was difficult, number one because they told me she broke her back. And then I fainted, I couldn’t take it,” Emilio shared.

Emilio revealed on the show that doctors feared his wife would not be able to walk or have more children after the crash that almost left her paralyzed.

Lili Estefan praised the strength of her aunt for not making herself a victim.

“She’s there with a smile. She can’t walk. She can’t move her feet. She could have been a victim. She could have victimized herself. From that moment, this woman was like ‘I am going to do this,” Lili said.

Estefan underwent a four-hour operation to repair her back, and faced a long road to recovery. She said on the show that she avoided painkillers and discussed becoming intimate with Emilio again for the first time following the crash.

Watch the full episode of Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk: The Estefans below.