Gives Special Thanks To Local First Responders "They put their lives on the line everyday for us"
Darren Doyle, story:
Preston Fugate, age 19, is currently fighting for a recovery in the trauma center at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, TN, according to his father, Anthony Fugate, who contacted the Edmonson Voice earlier today.
Mr. Fugate said that Preston, who is a 2018 graduate of Edmonson County High School, is listed in critical but stable condition. He also said that multiple surgeries will still be required in the near future for injuries that include: a portion of his skull that's been removed, a crushed artery on the left side of his neck, broken cheekbones and jawbone, and other injuries.
According to Mr. Fugate, x-rays on his spine and spinal cord were negative and he has responded to verbal commands, despite being placed in a medical induced coma. He has also responded to various pressure points in his extremities.
"We've got a long, hard battle ahead," said Mr. Fugate. "They're saying right now we're looking at least at a 6 to 12 month recovery period."
Mr. Fugate said he wanted to thank the community for their prayers and support and to publicly thank the first responders who worked the accident.
"I'm ex-military and I've drove a truck for 37 years of my life and I've seen everything that nobody would ever want to see over the years, so I know a little bit about what these first responders do. They put their lives on the line everyday for us."
He said he'd especially like to thank Brownsville Fire Department member Stan Tillman, who crashed his own truck at the scene of the accident. Stan, a well-known first responder who is first on many local emergency scenes, was responding to the accident when his pickup lost traction on the steep downgrade of Oak Hill Road. With all the emergency vehicles and personnel taking up the roadway, Stan had no choice but to drive off the road into the woods. Out of all the thick woods and steep embankments, Stan's pickup landed on about the only flat spot within two miles. He had a small scratch on his chin but immediately began helping at the scene.
"I want to let him know that I realize what kind of risk he took when he drove off the road," said Mr. Fugate. "He could've been killed himself. Of course, I'm not downgrading the other workers there at all, but he really put his life on the line. We all know how dangerous that road is when it's dry."
Mr. Fugate said his family moved here when Preston was just a baby and while he's always known that Edmonson County was a special place, he said he truly sees that in a different light now.
"I know this is a great place because of all of the people that care and are praying for us. We thank you all so much."
He also said that Preston's best friend, Christopher Williams, who was also in the crash, has a broken arm and a spinal injury, the severity of which is currently unknown. He also said the other passenger, Brenda Stinnett, is suffering from a broken knee and other injuries, but she is listed in stable condition.
"All these first responders and everybody that shows up, they're at war every day. They fight a different war than what a soldier does, but they sacrifice and put their lives on the line every day. I want to make sure everybody knows how much we appreciate them," he said.
He said visitors are not allowed right now and instead of calling he and other family members, updates are available on his personal Facebook page as well as Preston's.