Atmore man remains hospitalized

Published 1:31 am Wednesday, May 23, 2007

By By Adam Prestridge
An Atmore man remained in fair condition Tuesday afternoon at USA Medical Center following a collision with an 18-wheeler Monday morning.
Emergency personnel rushed Rodderick Lee, 31, of Atmore, to Atmore Community Hospital where he was airlifted to Mobile to undergo surgery to repair injuries sustained from the accident, which occurred at 11:24 a.m.
"I'm hurtin'," Lee said Tuesday afternoon from his room at USA Medical Center. "My leg is in pain. I've never been in so much pain in my life."
Lee underwent surgery Monday afternoon to repair a protruding bone as a result of a broken leg. He also suffered a broken shoulder and hip.
According to Atmore Police Department reports, a 1991 Volvo 18-wheeler driven by Gregory Blackwell, 46, of Atmore was attempting to turn into a lot behind Baldwin Gulf Coach Pest Control on Hwy. 21 when it struck Lee's 1985 Chevrolet Suburban.
"I was in front of the Snappy Car Wash traveling in front of the pest control place and he hit me," Lee said. "He tried to turn by the pesticide place and must have not seen me. He's called me two times since the accident and told me that he's praying for me. He told me that he didn't mean to do it, that made me feel a little better."
Blackwell's truck, owned by Allied Farms of Milton, Fla., was loaded with sod. Lee's SUV was pinned between the cab of the semi and the trailer, which had already began it's turn.
Stephen McKenzie, an employee at Baldwin Gulf Coast Pest Control, said he did not witness the accident, but heard it clearly.
"We were in here working and we heard loud screeching and ran outside," McKenzie said at the scene of the accident. "We didn't see what happened, we came out after we heard it."
Atmore Fire &Rescue Department also responded to the scene of the accident to extricate Lee from the SUV, which was impacted on the driver's side.
"My men do a good job getting out of the station quick and arriving on the scene in a timely manner," fire chief Gerry McGhee said. "They did an outstanding job at the scene."
No rescue equipment was needed to remove Lee from his vehicle, but he was placed on a backboard and in a neck brace prior to being transported to Atmore Community Hospital by medics with Atmore Ambulance.
According to an Atmore Police Department spokesperson, the prime-contributing unit to the accident was the 18-wheeler and the prime contributing circumstance was an improper turn.
Lee's vehicle was totaled as a result of the accident and David's Paint &Body towed it from the scene.

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