Local News

Friday, Aug 16 2013 02:50 PM

Outlook improves for implosion victim

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    By via Facebook

    Facebook profile photo of Jerry Wood

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    By Louis Amestoy/ The Californian

    A Kern County firefighter picks up articles of clothing and other items where at least one person was critically injured by shrapnel from the implosion of PG&E's power plant along Rosedale Highway on Aug. 3, 2013. The victim was standing just north of Jet Way and east of Coffee Road.

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BY JOHN COX Californian staff writer jcox@bakersfield.com

Doctors are now "cautiously optimistic" that the Bakersfield man critically injured in this month's power plant implosion accident will be able to keep both his legs following an 11-hour surgery that extended late into Thursday night, his attorney said Friday.

It remains unclear whether Jerry Wood, a 43-year-old sales and marketing director, will regain the use of either leg, lawyer Dennis Thelen said. Wood remained in intensive care Friday afternoon.

Additional procedures intended to save Wood's legs are scheduled for Thursday.

"So you see that this is a process that he's going through," Thelen said.

"They (surgeons) are now cautiously optimistic that they can save the left leg."

While both of Wood's legs were severely injured in the accident, the left one was at greater danger of requiring amputation.

Wood received initial treatment at Fresno's Community Regional Medical Center. When more specialized care was required, he was transferred to California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

Thelen said he was not at liberty to say who is paying Wood's hospital bills.

Wood was among a large group of spectators who gathered for the 6 a.m. Aug. 3 implosion of the old Pacific Gas and Electric Co. power plant along Coffee Road. His legs were hit by debris when the blast went off. Several other people suffered minor injuries.

Cal-OSHA and the California Public Utilities Commission are investigating the accident.

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