By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG — His wife calls him “a walking miracle,” and on Sunday, Lewisburg borough manager Chad Smith was in serious but stable condition at Geisinger Medical Center following eight hours of surgery to repair his broken back, suffered in a single-vehicle accident Friday night on Interstate 80.
“He’s doing fine. Today he is doing better because they were able to fix him up,” said Smith’s wife, Linda. “He’s in moderate condition and still healing.”
Smith, 41, of Mifflinburg, was thrown from his vehicle at some point during the accident, which happened about 9 p.m. Friday. He was found lying in a ditch at the scene.
Word of Smith’s accident spread Sunday among Borough Council members. Councilman Trey Casimir said he learned the news from secretary Patricia Garrison.
“He’s good now,” Linda Smith said, adding she has fielded many phone calls from community residents and borough officials regarding Chad.
Today, borough officials and council members will meet and sort through the technicalities of managing the office in Smith’s absence, Casimir said. Borough Council President Peter Bergonia Jr. said he will meet with solicitor Andrew Lyons today to see what, if anything, borough government needs to do.
“There are so many things going on projectwise, we need to know what to stay on top of,” he said.
According to state police, Smith was driving a 2007 Ford F-150 pickup truck westbound on the interstate in Turbot Township and had just passed another vehicle when he returned to the right lane and appeared to lose traction on the wet road, a witness from the passed vehicle told police.
Smith’s truck then traveled into the left lane and began to spin. It struck a steep embankment and flipped end over end for about 300 feet, first coming to rest on the embankment then sliding down it, police reported. Smith was found near the truck.
“I don’t know when he’ll come home,” Linda Smith said of her husband, “but it’s a real miracle that he’s even able to walk away from it,” noting Chad Smith’s injuries could have paralyzed him. “He’s a walking miracle. If you would see his truck, you’d know why.”