CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper who was severely injured while investigating a crash scene on July 4 is making milestones in his recovery process.
Trooper Adolfo Lopez-Alcedo was near the scene where five people were killed in a wreck the night before when a car struck him the morning of July 4 on the outer loop of Interstate 485 at West W.T. Harris Boulevard. The trooper was taken to the hospital in “very critical condition.”
Just over a month later, Trooper Lopez-Alcedo can now stand for brief periods of time and has feeling in his extremities, according to Trooper Ray Pierce, with the NC Highway Patrol.
Trooper Lopez-Alcedo will be transferred to the Shephard Center in Atlanta on Friday.
Pierce says an escort will take him from the hospital to the airport where he will be flown to Georgia to continue his recovery effort.
Just 10 days ago, on August 3, those close to Lopez-Alcedo’s said the trooper “is getting better and stronger everyday.”
“He is playing thumb wars with his wife. He is pointing to pictures of his family and identifying who they are. Blowing kisses, counting with his fingers, waving, moving his hands and feet on command. He also was able to march and pivot in place,” an update on the trooper’s GoFundMe page read. “God is performing miracles everyday!!! He continues to fight for a full recovery.”
Now, the trooper will take his next steps toward recovery.
The trooper has been practicing breathing work to strengthen his muscles.
Previously, North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Ray Pierce said Lopez-Alcedo was “still in a slow recovery process” and that “each day he is making improvements, small steps.”
According to the GoFundMe created for Lopez-Alcedo family, Lopez-Alcedo still has a long fight ahead of him.
“He has suffered significant injuries to his body and brain, the extent of which have not been fully diagnosed, the GoFundMe said. “His recovery will take months or even years, will require countless medical appointments and unknown expenses for this amazing family.”
Troy Douglas Edmiston was charged with felony Move Over Violation in the crash that injured Lopez-Alcedo.
The State Highway Patrol set up a team of troopers to solely focus on patrolling I-485 for speeding, which they say is the major factor when it comes to crashes on highways.
Trooper Lopez-Alcedo was in the process of shutting down I-485 so that the Highway Patrol’s Reconstruction Team could relaunch some drones to get aerial photographs of the road, Pierce told WBTV News.
He was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
“The trooper had made it to Exit 21,” Pierce said. “He started slowing traffic down. He exited his patrol vehicle, was in the process of shutting down lanes of travel when his vehicle was struck by a motor vehicle. His patrol vehicle then struck him at a high rate of speed.”
Trooper Lopez-Alcedo is assigned to Troop H, District 5 (Mecklenburg County) and is a two-year veteran of the State Highway Patrol. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol Collision Reconstruction Unit is conducting the investigation.
“Our Patrol family is hurting with the devastating news of Trooper Lopez’s injury, his family needs our prayers for what is undoubtedly an uphill fight,” said Col. Glenn M. McNeill, Jr., commander of the State Highway Patrol. “We will stand alongside our brother and his precious family in the hours and days to come and maintain hope that there will be a full recovery for this devoted public servant.”
Five people were killed, including four members of a Belmont family, in a series of crashes on Interstate 485 on July 3 started by a driver speeding at over 100 mph, authorities said.
A Go Fund Me has been created to help the family with medical costs. You can donate here.