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A York police officer injured in an off-duty accident when a 3,500-pound fishing boat fell on him has been moved out of intensive care and is beginning the long recovery process.
A fund has been set up at South Carolina Bank and Trust to accept donations for Lance Cpl. Lee McClellan, 37, who was trapped for several minutes Nov. 27 when a boat attached to a trailer fell on him.
McClellan, the married father of three, was working with a friend, trying to remove wheel bearings from a trailer when the cinder blocks holding the trailer collapsed. His father, Dale McClellan, said his son was moved out of intensive care at Carolinas Medical Center on Monday.
He was removed from a ventilator several days ago, Dale McClellan said.
“It’s going to be a long rehab process, the doctors are saying, but the Lord has been with him all the way, so I’m sure he’s not goinng to snow now,” Dale McClellan said Monday. He said his son has been speaking “in a horse whisper” since the ventilator was removed.
McClellan has been getting out of bed and walking a little, the elder McClelland said. “He’s in probably the most stressful point for himself,” he said of the recovery. “Every movement he makes is pain.”
McClellan worked on the night-shift with the York Police Department for three months after a three-year stint with the Rock Hill Police Department, where he worked in the detective division.
The accident happened when the the cinder blocks holding the boat shattered and the boat pinned McClellan underneath for several minutes. McClellan’s friend, Dustin Allmon, slipped a jack under the boat and raised it a little off McClellan to relieve the pressure.
McClellan has seven broken ribs on his right side, bruised ribs on his left side and slight damage to his lung, Dale McClellan said. He also has damge to his liver and diaphrahm, but no brain injuries, he said.
The family, including wife Mary Beth, has received an outpouring of support from the community. “He’s very appreciative of all the people who have contacted him,” Dale McClellan said.