Suffolk officer struck by alleged drunk driver goes home in time for Christmas

PORT JEFFERSON, Long Island (WABC) -- A Suffolk County police officer who spent weeks in a medically induced coma after being struck by an alleged drunk driver headed home Thursday, just in time to celebrate Christmas with his family.

Officer Tim Thrane was discharged from Catholic Health's St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, less than one week after being released from Stony Brookl.

He was greeted by his wife and three children, hospital staff members, and brothers and sisters in blue. He was escorted home by a motorcade.

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Thrane had been receiving physical therapy and rehabilitation treatment and had to learn how to walk and feed himself again, all part of his recovery after he was struck by a motor vehicle on November 2 while on foot setting up flares to conduct traffic control at the scene of a previous car accident.

He was rushed to Stony Brook, where he was intubated and placed in a medically induced coma for weeks. Dr. James Vosswinkel said the officer was close to death on several occasions.

He said the force of the collision cracked Thrane's skull, which led to a life-threatening increase of blood pressure in his brain.

Surgeons had to open his skull to let the blood out, and Thrane had to be resuscitated several times.

Dr. Vosswinkel said Thrane then developed a condition causing his entire body to inflame and his lungs to almost collapsed, and that four or five times, a ventilator wasn't enough to keep Thrane alive -- and doctors had to resort to rescue therapies just to keep oxygen in his body.

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At the time he was struck, Thrane was standing near his vehicle when a driver in a GMC Yukon stopped to ask him a question.

A Chevrolet pickup truck driven by 38-year-old William Petersohn then slammed into the Yukon, which spun around, hit the officer, and pinned him underneath it.

The pickup then hit a marked police car.

Petersohn was charged with DWI.

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