CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Nitro police officer remained in critical condition Friday after being hit by a car, but was showing signs of recovery, his colleagues said.
Officer James "Jimmy" Lee, 25, was hit by a car while directing traffic near Cross Lanes Drive and 40th Street at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a Kanawha County Metro 911 dispatcher. Lee apparently was motioning traffic to drive around a van with a flat tire when he was struck from behind.
Lee was rushed to CAMC General Hospital with severe head injuries. He remained in critical condition in the hospital's intensive care unit Friday.
Nitro Police Capt. W.E. Javins said Lee was recovering from emergency surgery Friday evening to alleviate a blood clot on his brain. That clot was successfully removed, but Lee's skull is still fractured, Javins said.
Lee also has bruising to his lungs, which is not severe, but which doctors believe could develop into pneumonia, Javins said.
Lee is being administered nerve tests every two hours. During a test at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Lee wiggled all 10 toes, opened both eyes and gave two thumbs up, Javins said.
"He's responding so well, and his brain is responding well," Javins said. "Doctors say it's a miracle, based on the type of injuries he received."
Nitro Mayor Rusty Casto estimated that Lee was thrown about 60 feet by the impact of the collision.