By Randy Arrington
LURAY, July 28 — Luray Police Detective Ron McClelland was finally released from in-patient care on Monday after spending three months in two different hospitals following an April 28 accident while on duty.
“From the day of the incident and surviving the incident to complications from his injuries…to come see him released and get in a vehicle to [leave]…it was emotional for all of us,” Luray Police Chief C.S. “Bow” Cook said on Wednesday.
Chief Cook and others waited at the automatic doors of Winchester Medical Center for McClelland to be released from a few weeks of in-patient physical therapy. The Luray detective had been transferred to Winchester from the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, where he had spent about 10 weeks in the ICU.
McCllelland fell nearly nine feet through a hole in the floor of an East Main Street home onto concrete in the basement while on a call at the residence. The seasoned detective suffered internal injuries, struck his head and was unconscious when additional officers arrived on the scene, according to previous statements by Chief Cook.
The Luray Police Department posted the following on their Facebook page late Monday afternoon: “Detective McClelland was released from Rehab today. He still has a long way to go but he is happy to be getting released from in-patient care. We are also happy, we can now visit with him easier!”
COVID-19 restrictions made visiting the Luray police officer impossible during most of his stay, according to Chief Cook. U.Va. had opened up visitation during the last three weeks of his stay in Charlottesville, he noted, but Winchester had not lifted visitation restrictions when he was transferred there.
Privacy laws prevent the department from sharing specific details about the detective’s condition, but Chief Cook did note that, “He still has a long road to recovery.” With that said, McClelland’s recovery up to this point still seems remarkable given the seriousness of his initial injuries and the complications that followed.
The community held a prayer vigil for the injured law enforcement officer in late May at Luray’s Ruffner Plaza.
“We lift up Ron to you God and thank you for his very life,” prayed Stanley Police Department chaplain and local pastor Doug Gochenour, who lead the prayer vigil. “And we know Lord, you are not finished with that life yet.”
With about 41 years total in law enforcement, McClelland spent 26 years with the Prince William Police Department before arriving at the Page County Sheriff’s Office in 2008. Chief Cook, who was a detective with the sheriff’s office at the time, brought McClelland with him when he went to the Luray Police Department several years later.
McClelland is currently staying with family, and will continue to receive out-patient treatment. Chief Cook would not comment on when, or if, the detective might return to duty.
Chief Cook still labels the April 28 incident as an “accident” although the circumstances around the case were unusual. McClelland stepped on a rug covering a 3’x4′ hole in the floor. An air vent (or grate) going to the basement had been removed, and the rug (a runner) had been pulled over it.