In Mass. hospital, accident victim likely to recover

NASHUA – Two shattered legs. Three fractured vertebrae. A fractured jaw, skull and facial bones and severely damaged lungs.

Those are the injuries Michael McClure has been recovering from during the last month and a half while lying in a hospital bed at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., in a medically induced coma.

McClure, a 46-year-old Clocktower Place resident, had been too unstable for doctors to risk the surgeries that would repair his multiple broken bones.

Last week, McClure took a turn for the better and doctors were able to unhook the machine that was breathing for him and revive him, according to his brother, Richard McClure. Now – although he faces surgeries and likely months of rehabilitation – McClure is expected to recover.

Doctors are shocked, Richard McClure said.

“One day he just turned the corner, and bang. Now he’s awake and alert and wants to know why he’s in a hospital in Worcester,” he said. “Now (he has) to deal with all these injuries that couldn’t be dealt with six weeks ago.”

Aug. 11, McClure was hit by a Mitsubishi Mirage driven by 22-year-old city resident Alyssa Turcotte at the intersection of Main and Pearl streets, according to police.

Police believe McClure, a maintenance worker at St. John the Evangelist Church, was walking to the Villa Banca restaurant, where he is a regular customer.

He was walking east across Main Street toward the Nashua Bank when the northbound Mitsubishi struck him near the curb on the east side of the street, police said.

Liz Sutcliffe, 25, a manager at the restaurant, ran to McClure’s aid and found him lying in the intersection moaning in pain. Turcotte had stopped near the crosswalk and was “hysterical,” at the time, Sutcliffe said.

At least one restaurant patron saw the crash and spoke to police immediately after it happened, Sutcliffe said.

Since the accident McClure has hovered near death, his brother said.

“It was touch and go every single day he was there,” he said. “Every day for six weeks we didn’t know if he was going to live or die.”

McClure didn’t suffer any spinal cord or brain injuries, Richard McClure said. Aside from surviving, no one yet knows to what extent he’ll recover physically.

“The doctors have said he’ll recover. Everything else is secondary at this point,” Richard McClure said.

He said the family, most of which lives in Chelmsford, Mass., has spent long hours every day in McClure’s hospital room, and prayers and good wishes from McClure’s Nashua friends have helped them.

Police haven’t finished the accident report. Nashua Police Sgt. John Fisher, head of the department’s accident reconstruction unit, said he’s waiting on test results from the state crime lab. He heard recently that McClure’s condition had improved.

“At this moment we’re thankful for that, and we’re continuing the investigation, and we don’t expect it to take much longer,” Fisher said.