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By MARY SCHENK
For Rantoul Press
FISHER — Semi-retired WDWS Radio personality Jim Manley and his wife, Carol, of rural Fisher are recovering from injuries they sustained in a collision with a semitractor trailer in western Indiana Sunday evening.
“We’re celebrating,” Jim Manley said Wednesday from his room at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. “It could have been so much worse.”
He was about to be transferred to a rehabilitation center in Savoy and his wife was about to be discharged to their home.
The Manleys, both 72, were seriously injured in an accident near the intersection of Indiana routes 28 and 63 west of Williamsport, Ind., about five miles from the Illinois border.
Warren County Sheriff Rusty Hart said the Manleys were headed west on Indiana 28 when they failed to yield at the intersection with Indiana 63 at 7:24 p.m. EST Sunday.
Hart said the Manleys’ car crossed the four lanes of traffic, pulling in front of and crashing into a southbound semitractor trailer on Indiana 63 driven by Thomas Dahlkamp, 59, of Hickory Hills, Ill.
Dahlkamp was not injured, according to Hart. Hart said no tickets were issued in connection with the incident.
The Manleys’ son, Todd, said Jim sustained two broken vertebrae in his lower back and a hematoma on his upper right leg that has caused the leg to swell. Carol suffered four broken ribs, a broken wrist and a cut to the back of her head that required stitches.
“Because she’s getting to the point where she can move around, she’ll go home sooner,” said Todd Manley, adding the hematoma was limiting his dad’s ability to get around.
Jim Manley said he and Carol were celebrating her recent birthday with a dinner at a Lafayette, Ind., restaurant with Jim Manley’s brother, his brother-in-law and their wives. They were headed to their home near Fisher when the accident happened.
“Neither Carol nor I have any recollection of one second of what happened,” said Jim Manley, who was in good spirits Wednesday afternoon, joking that he wasn’t superstitious but didn’t think he’d be buying the same color car.
Jim was transferred to Carle by helicopter soon after the crash while Carol was taken there later by ambulance after initial treatment at St. Vincent Hospital in Williamsport, Ind.
“It’s been a wonderful reunion. Carol and I ended up in the same room,” Jim said.
“They didn’t want to stop them from torturing each other,” added Todd, who apparently inherited his dad’s sense of humor.
Todd Manley said his dad was driving the couple’s Nissan Versa, which he described as a “really small car” with a high safety rating. His uncle went to retrieve items from the wreckage and noted that the air bags had done their job.
Jim Manley said that rescue workers had to use the jaws of life to get them out.
Todd got the news from his mother late Sunday night as she was in the emergency room.
Todd said he and his three siblings and their spouses are currently juggling schedules to see about caring for their folks for the immediate future.
Todd added that his father is in good spirits and has been peppering his caretakers with his bad puns and jokes.
“A lot of people have been calling wanting to know when the services will be,” quipped the elder Manley, who asked that the story of his demise be placed near the funny pages and not on the obituary page.