A Clay County Sheriff's Department detective is recovering from a traffic accident at home.
Amidst last Tuesday evening's treacherous weather-related driving conditions, Det. Sgt. Jeff Maynard's police vehicle was struck from behind by James L. Reeves, 46, Brazil, whose windshield was allegedly frozen over and who was also allegedly driving at an accelerated rate of speed at the time of the accident.
Officials estimated $3,000 worth of damage was done to the police cruiser and $10,000 damage was done to Reeves pick-up truck. Reeves was not injured during the accident.
Initially transported to St. Vincent Clay Hospital, Maynard was later taken to Union Hospital, Terre Haute, and then airlifted to Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, for neck and back injuries.
After a battery of medical testing, he was released Thursday by the medical staff at Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis.
"The injury is not as bad as the doctors initially thought," Maynard said. "At first, (the doctors) thought I had a spine fracture, then they thought maybe it was chipped, but it's neither."
Maynard explained to The Brazil Times the impact of the crash "stretched" his spine out of place in several areas, causing extreme pain.
Doctors are unclear how long it will take for Maynard to heal from his injuries.
Although doctors believe surgery will not be required to repair the damage at this time, Maynard has to "wait and see" what happens as his spine is allowed to heal naturally.
"I can get around some. The doctors want me to move, but not much," he said. "I'm at the mercy of time and my doctors, who check on me here at home regularly."
On the way to participate in the annual Shop-With-A Cop program when the accident happened, Maynard admits his first thoughts were of his family.
"I thought, 'oh no, not again,'" he said. "I was in the hospital a few years ago during the holidays, and I didn't want to be away from my wife Melissa and all of our children again this year. My family is really relieved I'm home. I am too."
Reeves was cited for allegedly driving at a speed too fast for the weather/road conditions at the time of the accident and was also issued a warning for allegedly driving with his windshield obstructed (ice).
When asked about the accident, Maynard remembers what happened but said he doesn't understand people's driving habits.
"People really need to realize when the weather changes, you need to change the way you drive," he said. "If you can't see out the window of your car, then don't drive it. I understand that we all have places to be, but please take the time to get there safely. If it takes three hours to get somewhere in this type of weather, then please spend the three hours it takes to get there."