CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. - A police officer hurt in a Veterans Day parade crash in Texas told Channel 2 Action News he is focused on the recovery of his wife, who was also seriously injured in the life-changing accident.
Shane Ladner, a Holly Springs police officer and Iraq war veteran, was on the float with his wife. He said he knows how long and hard the recovery process will take.
Ladner said he likely won’t return to work for a year due to his injuries, but he’s more concerned for his wife, Meg.
"She's not going to stop fighting," Ladner said.
Channel 2 Action News was there when Meg Ladner’s medical flight landed in Atlanta from Texas.
Her husband, who now walks with a cane, wants the community to know how thankful he is for continued support, but that his wife is not out of the woods yet.
“It's a very lonely feeling. She's there, but she's not there. All I can do now is praying God will heal her," Ladner told Channel 2’s Liz Artz.
Shane Ladner said he’s in pain, under a doctor’s care and is fully aware the extent of his injuries that will include back surgery, but he’s focused on his wife of 10 years.
“Until I know Meg is awake, there is no way I’m leaving her side," he said.
Her left leg was amputated, her right leg is severely broken and she remains in a medically-induced coma. Shane Ladner said it’ll be at least six months before she leaves Atlanta Medical Center.
“Our lives are changed forever. Our lives will never be the same, “he said.
He was being honored with other veterans during a parade in Midland, Texas, when the float he and his wife were riding was hit by a train. For now, he is focused on preparing their life for after the accident and getting his wife back.
“Until she waked up and tells me ‘I’m relieved’, that's where I’ll be," he said.
The couple’s friends have posted signs with various fundraisers. The Ladner’s home will likely need major renovations and they may need a handicap van.
A fund has been set up for Shane and Meg Ladner at the Cherokee Bank. A pancake breakfast will be held for them Dec. 1 and Dec. 8 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at 2700 Town Center Drive in Kennesaw.