Gov. Butch Otter opened this morning's meeting of the state Board of Examiners with an update on state Controller Donna Jones, who suffered a broken neck in a one-vehicle rollover on May 25. Jones, 73, has been moved to a rehabilitation facility within St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Otter said. "She is receiving intensive therapy daily," he said, and appears to be on the road to full recovery. Jones is not yet ready to receive visitors, he said, "But she can receive flowers - and chocolates."
Otter complimented the staff at the state controller's office for keeping the office's business on track, paying the state's bills and payroll and operating the state's main data center.
Jones credited a seatbelt with saving her life in the car accident; she was returning from a personal trip to eastern Idaho when her Cadillac Escalade went off the side of I-84 near Heyburn mid-day on a Friday; she overcorrected and the vehicle rolled. She was taken by ground ambulance to Minidoka Memorial Hospital in Rupert and then flown to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, where she arrived in critical condition and underwent surgery; she has remained hospitalized since.
Jones suffered a total of 14 broken bones in the accident, including two vertebrae. "They have her up and walking around," said her chief of staff, Brandon Woolf. "She keeps joking, saying, 'Get me out of here - I'm ready to go. Get me back to work.'" Woolf said both Jones' family and medical providers are "very pleased with the medical milestones she's achieved."
"She's under a pretty good therapy program right now," Otter said. "It's going to take a long time." Jones, as state controller, is a member of the state Land Board, which issued this statement as it opened its meeting today following the brief Board of Examiners meeting: "State Controller Donna Jones continues to be in the hearts and prayers of the members of the state Board of Land Commissioners, who send her best wishes for a rapid recovery."