BY KEN LITTLE
Marilyn Shanks is on the mend, but her recovery will be lengthy and challenging.
The 62-year-old Greeneville woman was driving a car that a Chattanooga man slammed into on July 1 as he attempted to flee from pursuing law enforcement agencies.
Charles E. Herkley, 29, was charged with felony reckless endangerment and cocaine possession counts. He remains held in the Greene County Detention Center, pending an Aug. 12 General Sessions Court preliminary hearing.
Shanks' painful odyssey has taken her first to Holston Valley Medical Center and then to Lakeway Regional Hospital in Morristown, where she is slowly on the mend.
It will be many months before Shanks is fully recovered, daughter Candida Thorne said this week during an interview at The Greeneville Sun.
"She's in fair condition but it will be a long time before she can walk. She's on the right road now," said Thorne, a Greeneville native who returned home from Illinois to help her four siblings care for their mother.
The crash at the intersection of West Summer and Davis streets was caused by Herkley, sheriff's deputies said in a report.
Herkley allegedly ran a red light and nine stop signs "and drove in the wrong direction in a turn lane while fleeing from officers," a report said.
Herkley ran a stop sign and struck Shanks' Buick sedan at the intersection of West Summer and Davis streets, investigators said.
Herkley's car continued on its crash course into a Chevrolet S-10 pickup driven by Nancy Coggins, who was not injured.
Shanks was taken to Holston Valley Medical Center.
According to Thorne, her mother suffered a broken back in four places, a broken pelvis in two places, severe hematoma and a bruised bladder.
Shanks also contracted aspiration pneumonia after the crash, Thorne said.
Thorne said officials at Holston Valley wanted to discharge her mother, but Shanks was still having trouble breathing.
The family moved her to Lakeview hospital, where Shanks remained in the intensive care unit until earlier this week. She's now in the rehabilitation section of the hospital.
The family feared for Shanks' life after she was first hospitalized, Thorne said.
"There was about three to five days when we thought she was going to die," she said.
The family is thankful Shanks is gradually getting better.
"It will just be a long, painful process for her before she can walk," Thorne said.