FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s wife underwent surgery Friday to stabilize serious injuries suffered when a tractor-trailer rear-ended the minivan she and their daughter were riding in on an interstate highway.
The surgery successfully stabilized 69-year-old Landra Reid’s broken neck, said intensive care physician Elizabeth Franco, one of the doctors at Inova Fairfax Hospital who is treating Mrs. Reid, who also suffered a broken back and broken nose.
While the injuries were serious, Franco said at a news conference Friday that Mrs. Reid is “neurologically intact” and is not at risk of paralysis.
Doctors hope to have Mrs. Reid up and walking in the next day or two, Franco said.
Her daughter, Lana Barringer, 49, suffered relatively minor injuries and was released from the hospital Thursday night.
Virginia State Police said Mrs. Reid and her daughter were traveling northbound on I-95 near Washington in stop-and-go traffic Thursday when their Honda Odyssey was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer loaded with rolls of plastic. The impact forced the Reid family’s minivan to rear-end a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which in turn struck a Chevrolet Cobalt.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, Alan W. Snader, 59, of Ohio, was charged with reckless driving, police said. He was not injured. All involved were wearing seat belts, police said.
Reid, D-Nev., spent much of Friday at the hospital while his wife, to whom he has been married for 50 years, was in surgery.
Reid issued a statement thanking the public for expressions of sympathy and support.
“She is the love of his life,” said Jon Summers, a spokesman for the senator.
Summers said he did not know where Mrs. Reid and her daughter were going at the time of the accident.
Reid, 70, met Landra while they were attending Basic High School in Henderson, Nev. They were married in 1959. Lana was born two years later. The couple also have four sons.