Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Councilman Stable After Car Accident by Sahsa Austrie - Queens Tribune

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Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) sustained serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident Saturday, but is expected to make a full recovery.

He was released from the intensive care unit this week at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

“By the grace of God I am alive today,” Sanders said in a press release. “I am receiving excellent care by the hospital staff.”

Sanders and two other men were returning from a visit to the Pocono Environmental Education Center in Pennsylvania when, according to the release, a sudden downpour of rain caused the driver to lose control and the vehicle to crashed and rolled. According to the release, the trip was to scout a possible site for a planned retreat for youth leadership training.

Donovan Richards, Sanders’ district manager, and Mike Duvalle, a member of the South Ozone Park Civic Association, were in the SUV with the councilman.

“The car was totaled,” Richards said. “I don’t know how we made it out.”

Richards said the car rolled over about three times and flipped over the median. According to the release, the three were traveling on a highway near Newburgh in Orange County. They were first transported to St. Luke’s Hospital in Newburgh.

Richards said he received eight stitches and is still in pain. He said Duvalle, the driver and owner of the SUV, was uninjured.

Richards said the extent of Sanders’ injuries weren’t confirmed, but speculated the councilman had a few sprains and possibly, a broken collarbone.

Andrea Sanders, the councilman’s wife, said she is relieved Sanders is out of intensive care.

“It’s been very rough,” she said.

Andrea said the community support has been stellar.

“I have to do a thank you,” she said. “The community has been absolutely wonderful.”

She added although Sanders is in a lot of pain, she is expecting a full recovery.

“He is getting better,” she said.

His colleagues in the City Council are also hoping for a full recovery.

“My prayers go out to him,” Councilman Tom White (D-South Ozone Park) said. “I hope he gets out of it.”