Woman recuperates after crash involving deputy

Published 2:02 pm Monday, December 31, 2012

Suzanne Kuhlman and her daughters Taylor Clements and Madison Kuhlman are recovering after being involved in a Nov. 14 crash with an Isle of Wight sheriff’s deputy.

By Stephen H. Cowles

The Tidewater News

SMITHFIELD — Five weeks after being involved in an accident allegedly blamed on an Isle of Wight County sheriff’s deputy, Smithfield resident Suzanne Gray Kuhlman was released from Riverside Rehabilitation Center in Smithfield on Saturday.

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“I’m doing OK,” said Kuhlman. “I still can’t stand or walk yet. I’ve still got to heal. There’s no time line, but I’m determined to make it happen soon.”

Kuhlman, who works in North Suffolk, and her two daughters were injured on Nov. 14 after Deputy Steven Sheridan allegedly drove his patrol car into the path of their sport utility vehicle as he turned left into the courthouse complex on Route 258 in Isle of Wight.

Sheridan, 27, was treated and released from Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk and cited with failure to yield and not wearing a seat belt. Sheridan, who remains on the job, will have a hearing on Jan. 24 in Isle of Wight General District Court on the charges filed by Virginia State Police.

Sheriff Mark Marshall said there also was an internal investigation, but didn’t comment further because he said it’s a personnel matter.

Kuhlman, 34, and her daughters Taylor Clements, 16, and Madison Kuhlman, 7, were taken to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News.

Taylor chipped her hip and Madison suffered liver lesions. Both spent a week in the hospital and continue to recuperate.

Kuhlman, who was also cited for a safety belt violation, suffered the worst injuries. Her lungs collapsed, and she broke her right femur, which required an eight-hour operation. Her left elbow was demolished and took six hours to repair in surgery. She also suffered two lesions to her knees, fractured her left pelvic bone and broke three ribs.

She was in intensive care for two days, spent a week in a regular room and the remaining time in rehab.

“I was conscious through the whole thing. We all were,” said Kuhlman, recalling the accident. “They (emergency responders) kept us calm until paramedics came. That means a lot. We’re definitely grateful.”

Kuhlman is doing home therapy and looks forward to getting back to work; she is a receptionist for Dr. Michael Lepore in Suffolk.