A DPS trooper critically injured by an accused drunk driver on Labor Day is home with his family just in time for Thanksgiving. Trooper Chad Blackburn was released from an extended care facility in League City Wednesday morning.
Fellow troopers lined up as Blackburn was wheeled out of the facility, then escorted him and his family home.
“I can’t express enough thanks and enough gratitude for what everyone has done for us,” said Sherri Blackburn, the trooper’s wife. “We’ve never felt alone. We felt like the community was right there with us the entire time. We serve a mighty God, and he’s been right there with us. We’re just very thankful.”
Blackburn was sitting in his patrol car on I-45 near NASA Road 1 when he was hit by a Mercedes driven by 31-year-old Tuwanna Moore.
Court records show her blood alcohol content was nearly four times the legal limit. Investigators say Moore was going over 100 mph and witnesses said she was weaving and driving erratically. Moore is charged with intoxication assault.
Ironically, Blackburn was patrolling for drunk drivers when he was hit.
If convicted, Moore, a NASA employee, could face up to 20 years in prison.
“On that tragic day, we could have been planning a funeral, but today it’s a celebration,” said DPS Sgt. Stephen Woodard. “It’s Thanksgiving. We’re more thankful to not just be alive, but to be able to share this moment with our friend.”
The trooper spent weeks fighting for his life in the ICU at Memorial Hermann Hospital. He had several broken bones, a collapsed lung and had his spleen removed.
“He’s doing really well. He’s ahead of schedule on his recovery. He works hard every day. He follows doctors’ orders. That’s enabled him to do some things we didn’t expect – like go home this soon. We were hoping for Christmas,” said the trooper’s wife.