Gov. Riley remains in ICU for 4th day after motorcycle crash

Source: Gov. Bob Riley in a Facebook photo dated from 2007.
Source: Gov. Bob Riley in a Facebook photo dated from 2007.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Former Alabama governor Bob Riley's condition continues to improve at an Alaska hospital where he's recovering from a serious motorcycle crash.

On Wednesday the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital confirmed Riley's status as being in "fair condition", though he remains in the Intensive Care Unit.

The crash happened Sunday near Fairbanks, Alaska where the former two-term governor was traveling on a planned cross-country motorcycle trip.

Dave Stewart, Riley's former chief of staff, said the governor was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. He suffered several broken bones and a punctured lung.

Stewart said Riley was traveling down a dirt and gravel road and hit a slick spot as it started to rain. Riley had to "lay the motorcycle down to avoid losing control," Stewart wrote.

"God was watching out for him," said former first lady Patsy Riley. "We feel blessed because it could have been so much worse."

Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard said he was relieved to hear his friend was going to make a full recovery. "Throughout his trip, he has been relaying to me some wonderful experiences of seeing different parts of our country, enjoying the beautiful landscape and visiting with  all the cowboys, truck drivers, mechanics, and waitresses he's encountered on the road," Hubbard said.

Current governor Robert Bentley said he was concerned for Riley after hearing the news but was relieved to hear he would be ok. "He, Patsy, and the rest of the Riley family are in the thoughts and prayers of all Alabamians today," Bentley said. "Dianne and I wish only the best for him, and pray for the Governor's speedy recovery so that he can get back to the things he enjoys doing."

While he's disappointed Riley won't be able to complete his trip, Hubbard said he was thankful he'll be okay.

Riley, will return to Alabama as soon as doctors clear him for travel. He's expected to make a full recovery.

WSFA 12 News will have more information on this developing story as it becomes available.

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