By Stan Friedman
DENVER, CO (March 8, 2011) – A Westmoore Community Covenant Church pastor and his wife are beginning physical therapy and will be transferred soon to a rehabilitation facility as they continue their recovery from near-fatal injuries suffered in a head-on collision last month.
Rodney and Cindi Beavers were injured when a tractor-trailer rig smashed into their GMC Yukon, knocking it back 150 feet down a mountain road. They had been on a skiing vacation.
“They’re in a lot of pain, but they’re improving,” said Paul Cunningham, senior pastor of the Oklahoma City congregation.
Rodney, 46, and Cindi, 44, were hospitalized in different cities at first, but she was transferred from a Durango facility to St. Anthony’s Trauma Center in Denver on February 25. They have been recuperating in rooms across the hall from each other, Cunningham said.
Cindi has been able to sit in a wheelchair and visit Rodney in his room. His jaw remains wired shut and he is breathing through a tracheotomy, Cunningham said.
Both have undergone surgeries, including a 14-hour operation for Rodney, Westmoore’s executive pastor. “It looks like that will be it for the surgeries,” Cunningham said.
The pastor said neither of the Beavers suffered serious brain injuries, “which is miraculous.”
The Beavers’ children, 18-year-old daughter, Morgan, and 12-year-old son, Preston, were traveling with their parents, but suffered only minor injuries. They are living with relatives in Oklahoma City and have returned to school, Cunningham said. “They’re doing really well.”
The children already have extended grace to the truck’s driver, Victorian Lenniere, 31, of Houston, Texas. After being treated at the hospital, Morgan and Preston said they knew the driver must have felt horrible about the accident, so they sat with him in his hospital room.
According to law enforcement officials, the family had been traveling uphill on Colorado State Highway 160 through Wolf Creek Pass in their sport utility vehicle around 7 p.m. Lenniere was driving the semi-truck carrying asphalt shingles downhill and tried to travel into the lower runaway ramp.
The truck rolled over onto its side and the trailer continued onto its roof and then slid across the road, striking the Beavers’ vehicle, authorities said.