CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper who was seriously injured when he was hit by a car on I-485 has returned home after 84 days of treatment.
According to a Facebook post from the NC Trooper’s Association K-9 Search and Recovery, Trooper Adolfo Lopez-Alcedo has returned home to Union County.
“We didn’t know if he would survive much less make such a miraculous recovery. Thank God for miracles, and thank God you are alive and healing, our brother. Keep fighting!!” the post read.
The Facebook post included an encouraging message shared from Aaron-Jodi Payne, along with several photos of the family and Trooper Lopez-Alcedo.
“84 DAYS but whose counting!!!! Thank you JESUS for bringing our brother, our Trooper, our hero home!! Thank you for every single blessing, for being there when the pain was too much to endure, when we had no strength. Through every tear you walked with everyone every second of every day. You prepared us and prepared this road for everyone. We are beyond blessed for another day and another miracle!!! Today ends the hospital portion,” Payne wrote.
Trooper Lopez-Alcedo was released from the Shephard Center in Atlanta, where he went to resume rehabilitation and his path to recovery.
Trooper 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.”
Officials say Lopez-Alcedo was first transported from Atrium Health’s CMC to Wilson Air Center, where he then boarded a medical aircraft awaiting his arrival.
Once the aircraft touched down at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in Georgia, Lopez-Alcedo was met by members from the Georgia State Patrol who provided an escort to the Shephard Center. He was later released.
“While we celebrate this next phase of recovery, I encourage each of you to keep Adolfo, his wife Jennifer, and the entire Lopez-Alcedo family in your thoughts and prayers,” said Colonel Glenn M. McNeill, Jr., with the NC Highway Patrol. “We must never cease in supporting Adolfo as he will forever be a member of the Patrol family.”
On August 3, those close to Lopez-Alcedo’s said the trooper was "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.”
The trooper had been practicing breathing work to strengthen his muscles.
“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 Highway Patrol’s Reconstruction Team could relaunch some drones to get aerial photographs of the road, Pierce told WBTV
“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.
Pierce says it’s too early to say whether Lopez-Alcedo will ever be back on the road again.
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 was created to help the family with medical costs. You can donate here.