Airman continues to recover after accident

HURLBURT FIELD -- The 16th Maintenance Squadron Airman involved in a freak accident Feb. 13 in Fayetteville, N.C., continues to recover from his injuries.

Airman 1st Class Gerald Winn, a C-130 fuels systems specialist, was struck in the head by a falling utility pole in a restaurant parking lot after a garbage truck rounding a corner hit the pole.

Airman Winn was transferred Monday to James A. Haley Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Tampa after a month-long stay in the North Carolina Memorial Hospital at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill.

Although his long-term prognosis is unclear, Airman Winn is continuing to make improvements with his wife and mother by his side, said Lt. Col. John Lepore, 16th MXS commander. Last week, the squadron got word that he had an eye open and was watching television. Tuesday the commander said Airman Winn is able to write and speak some.

Originally Airman Winn’s prognosis was grim, said Colonel Lepore.

“He’s come a long way,” said Colonel Lepore. “We are absolutely thrilled that he’s beating the odds.”

Colonel Lepore plans to visit Airman Winn and his family in Tampa this week.

The squadron has put together a gift basket and cards for Airman Winn, the commander said.