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Irvin 'progressing right along' after car crash, daughter says

Longtime ag commissioner in stable condition at Habersham hospital from March 17 accident

POSTED: March 23, 2011 10:45 p.m.
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Tommy Irvin

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Former longtime state Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin is in intensive care at Habersham Medical Center recovering from injuries suffered in a March 17 car accident in Toccoa.

"We're continuing to get good reports every day and he's progressing right along," his oldest daughter, Londa Irvin Wilson, said Wednesday. "That's always a good thing, and I'm just glad his injuries are no worse than they are."

She added, "They're talking about moving him to a regular room any time. That could be (today)."

Irvin, 81, who retired last year after serving in the post as a Democrat since 1969, was driving alone when he was involved in a two-car accident in Toccoa, she said.

He was then taken to the hospital in Demorest, suffering from cracked ribs. He is in stable condition, according to the hospital.

Irvin was cited for failure to yield, according to a police report. Toccoa police said Irvin pulled out in front of another car, which then struck his 2007 Volvo in the front driver's side.

"I haven't seen the accident report. I haven't even seen the car," Wilson said. "My main concern has been my father and being there as much as I can by his side."

She said Irvin was driving on Ga. 17/Big A Road when the accident took place at a "bad intersection."

"Accidents apparently happen there all the time," Wilson said.

Irvin, who was the longest-serving agriculture commissioner in the U.S., has deep roots in Georgia.

Irvin, who was born in Hall County, but lived in Mount Airy, was elected to his first public office as a member of the Habersham County Board of Education in 1956, according to the Democratic Party of Georgia's website.

The news of his hospitalization spread quickly. His successor, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black of Commerce, said he is sending prayers to Irvin and his family.

State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Berlon also said, "We wish him a speedy recovery and a comfortable return to his Habersham home."

"There has been a lot of prayers going out for him all over the world, and I count that as the reason he is doing so well," Wilson said.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

 



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