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Captain to make full recovery

Carrie Stuart, 47, has been in the hospital since fiery crash in January

Posted: February 18, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 18, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Carrie Stuart Carrie Stuart
Carrie Stuart

Carrie Stuart, a captain in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who nearly died in a fiery two-car crash before Christmas, is out of the hospital and expected to make a full recovery, her daughter says.

“She’s getting better every day,” her daughter Amanda Carey told The Signal.

Stuart, 47, was rushed to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital on Dec. 7 after her car collided with another on San Francisquito Canyon Road north of Stator Lane.

Emergency medical staff at the hospital stopped the bleeding and listed her as critical but in stable condition.

Stuart had suffered “a lot of broken bones,” including a broken leg, broken foot and serious head injuries, her daughter said.

Stuart remained hospitalized, sedated during the first two weeks of her stay.

Earlier this month she was released from the hospital to a rehabilitation center in Los Angeles, where she is expected to make a full recovery, Carey said.

“Every day she is slowly coming back to us,” she said. “And the one thing the doctors and nurses have told us is that her sassy attitude is back. She keeps them laughing.

“She is very humorous. So it’s nice to see that character coming through,” Stuart’s daughter said. “It just shines through.”

Stuart, a 28-year Sheriff’s Department veteran who works as unit commander at Pitchess Detention Center South Facility, was driving on San Francisquito Canyon Road the night she almost died.

Her vehicle and one driven by an Elizabeth Lake man collided head-on at 9:42 p.m. One of the vehicles rolled over and the other was engulfed in flames, said CHP Officer Anthony Martin at the time of the crash.

The condition of the other driver, a 38-year-old man, was not released at his request, but investigators said at the time of the crash he was expected to survive his injuries.

Stuart recalls nothing of the crash that almost claimed her life, her daughter said.

“She suffered a traumatic brain injury, which has been the hardest part for us so far,” Carey said.

“She remembers all our family. She knows all our birthdays and why she’s in the condition she’s in,” she said. “But as for the actual accident, she doesn’t remember anything — which is a blessing.”

Doctors have told Stuart’s family that she is expected to make a full physical recovery.

As for her recovery from the serious brain injury she suffered — all indications are encouraging, her four children say, but time will tell.

“Physically, she’s expected to make a full recovery; mentally, she’s getting better but is still a long way off,” Carey said. “Every day it looks better and better.”

And every day Stuart is encouraged by a groundswell of support from friends concerned about her, Carey said.

Her family has been posting regular Facebook updates on her condition.

“Although some days are better than others, she is continuing to excel in her physical, speech, and occupational therapies, and we couldn’t be more proud!” one posting from her family says.


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