WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP)— N.C. Representative Larry Womble was taken to the hospital in critical condition after his car was involved in a fatal head-on collision late Friday evening in Winston-Salem.
Democratic Rep. Larry Wayne Womble, 70, was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where he remained in critical but stable condition as of 10 p.m. Sunday after undergoing two surgeries.
A family spokesperson said the surgeries have gone well and that Womble was resting comfortably on Sunday evening. Womble is expected to go through more surgeries throughout the week, the spokesperson said.
Doctors said Womble was showing signs of progress after the first two surgeries and that they feel “cautiously optimistic” about his recovery.
“For all of the challenges that he has right now… He is doing, I believe, better than the medical professionals had anticipated… So we are happy about that,” Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines said Sunday.
The family spokesperson said Womble hasn’t been able to speak since the wreck. The next update on his condition is expected Monday.
Another Winston-Salem man, David Allen Carmichael, 54, died at the scene of the wreck, which happened around 11 p.m. in the 2600 block of Reynolds Park Road.
Police said the wreck involved a head-on collision between a 2010 Acura sedan driven by Womble and a 1996 Chrysler convertible driven by Carmichael. Investigators could not immediately provide further details about what caused the crash.
Both Womble and Carmichael were acquaintances and lived just blocks away from where the crash occurred.
Carmichael’s dad, Hoagie Carmichael, said his son was a fun-loving and caring man and wished Womble a speedy recovery.
Womble, who is in his 9th term as a state representative for the 71st district, was born in Winston-Salem. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Winston-Salem State, then furthered his education at both UNC Greensboro and Appalachian State University. Before joining politics, Womble served as an alderman in Winston-Salem for 12 years up until 1993.
“He’s up there. His community is up there. Larry is very popular. He served on the city council here for a number of years and in the General Assembly so everyone is praying for him,” Dale Folwell, Speaker Pro Temp of the House, said.
Womble’s colleague, Rep. Earline Parmon and Womble’s son, Jamal Womble, released this statement Saturday afternoon:
“I, along with his son Jamal Womble, other close friends and family have been with him, and at this point we are awaiting additional information from the medical professionals who are working tirelessly on his behalf.
On behalf of our entire community, I want to sincerely thank the paramedics who responded so swiftly as well as the doctors, nurses, emergency room and hospital staff who have cared for Representative Womble. They have been extraordinary to him and to us. We thank everyone for the continued thoughts and prayers and ask for respect and privacy for Representative Womble and his family.
The family also asks that the public keep the family of David Carmichael, who perished after the crash, in their thoughts and prayers.”
Gov. Bev Perdue on Saturday morning issued this statement:
“Bob and I send our thoughts and prayers to Larry Womble and his family, as we pray for his recovery and for strength and comfort for his family, as well as for the family of Mr. Carmichael.”
Police said Carmichael’s death marked the 18th traffic fatality of 2011 for the city.