June 05--PALESTINE --
An Anderson County sheriff's deputy critically injured in a three-vehicle weekend wreck continued to recover Monday at a Tyler hospital.
Hunter Lawrence, 24, an Anderson County sheriff's deputy, suffered a skull fracture, cracked pelvis and other injuries as a result of the wreck which occurred around 10:45 p.m. Saturday on U.S. 287 South, just inside the Palestine city limits, near the intersection of Benbrook Drive, according to Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor.
Taylor and two other representatives of the Anderson County Sheriff's Office visited Lawrence in the intensive care unit at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler Monday.
The sheriff described Lawrence's condition as "critical but stable," saying the deputy also sustained facial fractures; a broken rib; a bruised kidney; and a "slightly punctured" and bruised lung.
"He's stable and his brain's not swelling any more which is a good thing," Taylor said Monday.
Taylor said Lawrence was operating a Chevrolet Impala squad car and "en route to an emergency call to back up an officer" in the Elkhart area at the time of the wreck.
The sheriff, who indicated he was uncertain of the wreck's details, said a pickup truck and full-sized SUV were the other involved vehicles.
Lawrence had to be extricated from the squad car, according to the sheriff.
"We'll let the DPS (the Texas Department of Public Safety) dicipher the accident," Taylor said Sunday night. "...I'm just concerned about the officer and the other accident victims."
Lawrence began his employment with the Anderson County Sheriff's Office as a jailer and recently completed the East Texas Police Academy, earning a promotion to deputy within the past year or so, according to the sheriff.
"He's (Lawrence) a good deputy," Taylor stated.
The sheriff thanked employees of the Palestine Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services for their efforts at the scene.
Taylor also asked local residents "to pray for those other victims and Hunter.
"The next two or three days are critical," Taylor said Monday afternoon.
Anyone wishing to make monetary and other donations to Lawrence and his family may do so by contacting Lauren York, the sheriff's administrative assistant, at (903) 731-8228.
Taylor said the contributions would help assist Lawrence's family with travel and other expenses accrued during his hospitalization.
"If anyone wants to do that," Taylor said, "they certainly can make a contribution."
Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected]
Copyright 2012 - Palestine Herald-Press, Texas