Graham upgraded to `serious’ condition |

Graham upgraded to `serious’ condition

Jane Stebbins

DENVER – Charles Graham, who was critically injured in a car accident in Park County last week, has been upgraded to serious condition in the intensive care unit at St. Anthony’s Central in Denver.

According to his father, Pat, Graham regained consciousness Sunday afternoon and was able to answer a few questions.

“He isn’t aware of the accident, and he doesn’t really know where he is,” Pat Graham said. “But if someone is there and you ask him if he knows who it is, he does. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s a miraculous improvement. We’re all on a huge high right now.”

Marcus Shirley, 19, of Farmer’s Korner, was killed in the wreck. Memorial services were held Saturday at Agape Outpost.

Graham, 20, and Shirley were on their way home from skateboarding in Colorado Springs when the accident occurred, Pat Graham said. It was the first day Graham’s doctor had allowed him to skateboard since a Sept. 10 accident. In that incident, Graham and his father were struck from behind by a one-ton pickup going 93 mph on Vail Pass; the collision caused the Grahams’ vehicle to roll five times. Charles Graham broke his neck and arm in the accident.

The younger Graham was scheduled Monday to undergo an MRI on his spine and brain and be transferred out of intensive care, but he has indicated he’s not yet up to seeing visitors, his father said. He will be transferred to Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in seven to 10 days.

Lee Phillips of Hartsel, who Colorado State Patrol officials say caused the accident, was released Friday to the custody of the Park County Sheriff Office and is being held without bail at the Park County Jail. He was taken to St. Anthony’s with injuries to his hand and later underwent surgery.

According to Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Martin Petrik, agency officials will ask the district attorney to charge Phillips with vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter in connection with the incident. Pending the results of a blood-alcohol test, he also might be charged with driving under the influence.

Petrik said officers investigating the accident suspected Phillips had been drinking and driving. Court records also indicate Phillips has a history of drinking and driving, including an incident last July for which he will be formally arraigned in February.

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