Johnnie Anderson returns home last week from a stint in Jacksonville after he was hit, injured directing traffic

Blackshear firefighter Johnnie Anderson was welcomed home with much celebration from Brooks Rehabilitation in Jacksonville, Wednesday, May 22. Anderson had been recuperating there from his injuries after being struck while directing afternoon school traffic on Hwy. 84 in April.

Locals lined Main Street to wave and cheer as a public safety escort brought Anderson home. He was driven to the fire station by Blackshear Fire Chief Bucky Goble.

Agencies participating in the escort include Blackshear PD, Blackshear and Pierce County fire departments, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, EMS and Georgia Forestry. Ware County Fire Department brought over a ladder truck to fly an American flag high above the street as Anderson passed through town.

Anderson greeted friends and family at the fire station briefly before heading home, but he was ready to get back to work, and he fussed goodnaturedly at local EMT’s for cutting up all his clothes at the scene of the accident.

“His first comment when we picked him up was, ‘We got to hurry up. I got to go work school traffic’,” Police Chief Chris Wright told The Times.

Anderson was struck by 81-year-old Charles Daniels, a Blackshear native, while directing school traffic at County Farm Rd. and Hwy. 84 at approximately 3:30 p.m. April 10. Bits of Anderson’s reflective vest were stuck to the grill of Daniel’s truck after impact.

Daniels has not been charged in the wreck. GSP’s investigation is ongoing. Investigators are reportedly awaiting toxicology reports to conclude the investigation, but a backlog at the lab often prolonges those results.

Anderson was flown to UF Health in Jacksonville where he underwent several surgeries to repair internal organs and stop internal bleeding. Among other injuries, Anderson suffered a fractured spine, brain bleed, broken bones and a severed spleen.

Anderson returned home last Wednesday after a 26-day rehab stint following his release from the hospital.

“Johnnie Anderson is living proof of miracles. I appreciate everyone in the City of Blackshear for welcoming him home today,” said Mayor Kevin Grissom.  “God is good and Johnnie is doing well. Love our commUNITY.”

Anderson is still undergoing extensive physical therapy and traveling back to Jacksonville for doctor appointments.

Blackshear Fire Department established a special account at PrimeSouth Bank to benefit Anderson shortly after he was injured. The account is still active and contributions to Anderson’s ongoing medical expenses are welcomed, says Fire Chief Bucky Goble. Call PrimeSouth at 912-449-6685 to help.