AUBURN, Ala (WRBL) – An Auburn husband, father and Auburn University professor is struggling to recover after being seriously injured when a tree fell onto his vehicle during Monday’s thunderstorm.
Chris Arnold’s wife shared the following information on a CaringBridge page for her husband, who is an Industrial and Graphic Design Professor at Auburn University.
“Chris and our younger son were leaving our home for just another father and son “Moe Monday“ meal. They were aware of a line of thunderstorms that would be blowing through, and after a brief discussion decided to get out ahead of the storm instead of waiting to leave after it had passed. While backing out of our driveway, Chris realized the wind had picked up dramatically, and he stopped the car. He then decided to return further up into our driveway to stay put and wait out the wind. This moment is the last one Chris can recall of Monday,“ she wrote.
His wife says within seconds of this decision, the vehicle they were in was struck by a neighbor’s large pine tree that had been uprooted by the storm. She says their son was able to get out of the car on his own and ran to our home for help. 911 was called, and first responders removed Chris from the vehicle and transported him to East Alabama Medical Center.
“Emergency department doctors determined Chris should be transported by ambulance to UAB hospital in Birmingham, AL where he was admitted to the Acute Trauma Care Unit. Chris is being treated for a concussion and three spinal fractures. Our son was treated and quickly released from EAMC Monday evening before our transport to Birmingham,“ she wrote.
Chris’ wife says she is thankful her husband and son are alive, sharing his road to recovery will likely be slow.
“We are still in awe, and thankful they are both alive. We appreciate our neighbors’ and first responders’ efforts during this tragic accident, as well as, their assistance since. We appreciate the medical caregivers at EAMC, and now at UAB. We sincerely appreciate our friends and family that are checking in on us, and to provide everyone with accurate information we have decided to share further updates through this site. We have been overwhelmed with your love and support. This will most likely be a slow and steady recovery. However, Chris’ needs and abilities may continue to change quickly. We will need you, and we appreciate your willingness to join with us as we celebrate this miraculous survival and continued recovery,“ she wrote.