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BACK ON PATROL: N.C. trooper to return to duty 15 months after seriously injured by car while working deadly crash scene on I-485

Trooper Adolfo Lopez-Alcedo
Trooper Adolfo Lopez-Alcedo(North Carolina State Highway Patrol | North Carolina State Highway Patrol)
Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 12:13 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 2:44 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It has been a long road to recovery for a local North Carolina State Trooper who was seriously injured after he was struck by a car while working the scene of a deadly crash on July 4, 2020.

Trooper Adolfo Lopez-Alcedo, from Union County, will return to duty Monday, just over a year after he returned home following 84 days of treatment and rehab at hospitals.

Trooper Lopez-Alcedo was hit by a car on July 4, 2020 while working the scene of a crash on I-485. Five people were killed, including four members of a Belmont family, in a series of crashes on Interstate 485 on July 3 started by a driver speeding at over 100 mph, authorities said.

Troopers say he was first treated at CMC Main and was later taken to the Shepard Center in Atlanta to continue rehab.

Officials have charged Troy Douglas Edmiston with a felony Move Over Violation in connection with the crash

“We didn’t know if he would survive much less make such a miraculous recovery. Thank God for miracles, and thank God you are alive and healing, our brother. Keep fighting!!” A Facebook Post by the NC Trooper’s Association K-9 Search and Recovery read.

Trooper Lopez-Alcedo was near the scene where five people were killed in a wreck the night before when a car struck him the morning of July 4 on the outer loop of Interstate 485 at West W.T. Harris Boulevard. The trooper was taken to the hospital in “very critical condition.”

Officials say Lopez-Alcedo was first transported from Atrium Health’s CMC to Wilson Air Center, where he then boarded a medical aircraft awaiting his arrival.

Once the aircraft touched down at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in Georgia, Lopez-Alcedo was met by members from the Georgia State Patrol who provided an escort to the Shephard Center. He was later released.

“While we celebrate this next phase of recovery, I encourage each of you to keep Adolfo, his wife Jennifer, and the entire Lopez-Alcedo family in your thoughts and prayers,” said Colonel Glenn M. McNeill, Jr., with the NC Highway Patrol. “We must never cease in supporting Adolfo as he will forever be a member of the Patrol family.”

On August 3, 2020, those close to Lopez-Alcedo’s said the trooper was “getting better and stronger everyday.”

“He is playing thumb wars with his wife. He is pointing to pictures of his family and identifying who they are. Blowing kisses, counting with his fingers, waving, moving his hands and feet on command. He also was able to march and pivot in place,” an update on the trooper’s GoFundMe page read. “God is performing miracles every day!!! He continues to fight for a full recovery.”

On August 3, 2020, those close to Lopez-Alcedo’s said the trooper was “getting better and stronger everyday.”

“He is playing thumb wars with his wife. He is pointing to pictures of his family and identifying who they are. Blowing kisses, counting with his fingers, waving, moving his hands and feet on command. He also was able to march and pivot in place,” an update on the trooper’s GoFundMe page read. “God is performing miracles every day!!! He continues to fight for a full recovery.”

Trooper Lopez-Alcedo was in the process of shutting down I-485 so Highway Patrol’s Reconstruction Team could relaunch some drones to get aerial photographs of the road, Pierce told WBTV

“The trooper had made it to Exit 21,” N.C. Highway Patrol Ray Pierce said. “He started slowing traffic down. He exited his patrol vehicle, was in the process of shutting down lanes of travel when his vehicle was struck by a motor vehicle. His patrol vehicle then struck him at a high rate of speed.”

Trooper Lopez-Alcedo is assigned to Troop H, District 5 (Mecklenburg County) and is a three-year veteran of the State Highway Patrol.

Five people were killed, including four members of a Belmont family, in a series of crashes on Interstate 485 on July 3 started by a driver speeding at over 100 mph, authorities said.

North Carolina’s Move Over Law went into effect in 2002. It requires you to move to another lane - away from an emergency vehicle - on a multi-lane highway or safely slow down on a two-lane highway. Violating the law results in a $250 fine.

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