Sheriff injured in bike wreck

Published 1:11 pm Thursday, November 9, 2006

By By Lisa Tindell
Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith is recovering from a bicycling accident at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, Fla.
According to Shirley Pettis, administrative assistant to Smith, the injured official was released from the critical care unit of the hospital to a private room on patient halls Tuesday following a series of tests and examinations.
"He has been moved from Critical Care into a regular room," Pettis said.
"They have reduced the amount and strength of pain medications since he has progressed in his recovery."
Although Smith was admitted to the critical care unit upon his transfer from D.W. McMillan to Sacred Heart, he was never considered to be in critical danger.
"He was never considered to be in critical condition, but it was serious," Pettis said. "He was hurt badly in the freak accident, but he was never in a life-threatening situation."
The accident that put Smith in the hospital happened Saturday morning on Keego Road, according to Maj. Mike Murphy.
"He (Smith) apparently lost control of his bicycle on Keego Road when he was riding with his wife and granddaughter," Murphy said. "He lost control and landed face-first on the pavement."
Smith is in good spirits following the accident, Pettis said.
"He is in good spirits and is looking better," Pettis said. "He is still in a good bit of pain, but no more than expected."
The injuries include mostly facial abrasions with some mouth injuries and a fracture in his skull, officials said.
"He may have to face some surgery," Pettis said. "That may be a little down the road though. After some time of recovery and re-evaluation by physicians surgery may or may not be necessary. It's a wait-and-see situation."
Smith is currently serving his second term as the sheriff for Escambia County.
He was elected to his first term in 2002. His name appeared on Tuesday's election ballot, however with no republican challenger in the election and will remain in office for another four-year term.

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