CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - A North Carolina State Highway Patrol trooper who was severely injured in a motorcycle crash is paralyzed from the neck down, officials said.
Trooper Chris Wooten was trying to pull over a driver who had blown through a red light a west Charlotte intersection Wooten followed, but was hit by a pick-up truck who had a green light and didn't see him.
NCSHP posted an update to their officials Facebook page Friday on Wooten's condition, saying he suffered a severe spinal injury that has left him paralyzed.
"Unfortunately, after the performance of several medical procedures, which included surgery to fuse and decompress his C1-C5 vertebrae and stabilize the spinal column, it was determined that Chris suffered significant spinal cord trauma during the crash," NCSHP said. "At the moment, the surgeons are classifying the injury as a complete spinal cord injury at the top of the spine, which is resulting in paralysis from the neck down."
The suspect who was fleeing Wooten, 36-year-old Dontay Kilgo, did not stop and left the scene. Kilgo was arrested a day later. He is charged assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer, felony flee to elude, reckless driving, failure to heed to blue lights, driving while license revoked, and possession of marijuana.
Wooten, a 14-year veteran of the highway patrol, has been in the hospital in critical condition since the accident. He has undergone a number of surgeries and will begin rehabilitation in preparation to return home.
"Ultimately, Chris and his family have a long road of recovery ahead, and they are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of love and support."
To assist the Wooten family, NCSHP says an account under Christopher and Sharon Wooten Special Account has been established at the NC State Employees Credit Union. Those wishing to make a donation can do so by visiting any NCSECU branch.
"May God continue to bless Chris, Sharon, their daughters, Kylee and Madison, and the entire Patrol family during this difficult time."