Kansas Gov. John Carlin and an aide were hospitalized with back injuries yesterday after a cab they were riding in slammed into a truck left on an entrance road to National Airport after the driver had run out of gas, according to U.S. Park Police.
Carlin's wife Karen and a Kansas state trooper, also passengers in the cab, were treated at National Orthopaedic Hospital in Arlington and released, a spokesman there said. The driver of the D.C. Yellow Cab, identified by a police spokesman as Willie Grady, was treated for face cuts and released.
The cab was on the way from a Washington hotel to the airport where the Carlins, the governor's aide and the state trooper had planned to catch a 7:10 a.m. flight to Kansas. Carlin and the aide, Shirley Allen, were listed in good condition last night at the hospital, according to a spokesman.
Karen Carlin, with a bandaged sprained right foot and walking on a cane, told reporters yesterday that the cab had taken an exit off the George Washington Parkway toward the airport and was traveling at 40 to 45 miles an hour when it struck a flatbed Hertz truck used to transport cars.
"We looked up and there was this vehicle," said Carlin, 35, who was sitting in the back seat between her husband, 43, and Allen, 33. "Both John and Shirley braced themselves and I recall going limp," Karen Carlin said.
Donald Eugene Cole, the operator of the Hertz truck, was issued a ticket for having a vehicle stopped on the road, according to police spokesman Don L. Rodgers. Cole left the truck because it ran out of gas, Rodgers said.
Dr. Joseph Kaye, an orthopedic surgeon at National Hospital, said Gov. Carlin, who is recovering from another back injury suffered 10 years ago, will probably wear a girdle-like brace for his lower back for three months as a result of yesterday's accident.
Carlin, who was in Washington for a National Governors' Association staff meeting and Democratic National Committee fund-raising gala, suffered two compression fractures of his lower vertabrae, according to Kaye. Allen suffered a compression fracture of a lower vertabra, Kaye said.