LI police officer released from hospital a month after suspected drunk driver left him in critical condition

STONY BROOK, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- It was a day to remember for a Long Island police officer as he was released from a hospital after a one-month stay for injuries he sustained due to a suspected drunk driver.

Friday was the first time Suffolk County police officer Timothy Thrane saw his three kids since he was rushed to Stony Brook Hospital on Nov. 3 in critical condition.

“I feel great to be one step closer to going home,” said Thrane. “It’s overwhelming, the support I got this whole time.”

Thrane was directing traffic at the intersection of William Floyd Parkway and Yaphank Woods Boulevard a month ago when police said a drunk driver struck the rear of a parked GMC Yukon, causing that vehicle to strike him.

Stony Brook University Hospital Chief of the Division of Trauma Dr. James Vosswinkel said the three-year veteran officer had life-threatening brain injuries, and was on life support and a ventilator.

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But following several surgeries and constant care, Thrane was discharged.

There were plenty of hugs and tears from Thrane’s family, including his wife and mother.

“It’s unbelievable, I believe this is our Christmas miracle,” said Thrane’s mom. “And, I can’t explain how happy I am. I was worried for awhile, but this is unbelievable. The best day ever.”

Also in attendance were other officers and detectives who were critically injured in the line of duty, but were able to return to work. That included Det. Christopher Racioppo, who was stabbed in the thigh back in April after a suspect was attempting to evade arrest for DWI after causing a crash. The stabbing cut major arteries and veins in the officer's leg and caused major blood loss.

Thrane’s wife said he’s now headed to rehab at St. Charles Hospital, where he will relearn how to walk and feed himself — but doctors said he’s “completely neurologically in tact.”

Thrane’s wife said they’re hoping he’ll be able to return home by Christmas.