Former Governor injured in motorcycle wreck

Published 2:50 pm Monday, June 27, 2011

Former Alabama Gov. Bob Riley was seriously injured Sunday while riding a motorcycle in Alaska.

Riley, 66, punctured a lung and broke several bones while riding his motorcycle near Fairbanks, according to Riley’s former chief of staff, Dave Stewart. According to the release, Riley is being treating in a Fairbanks hospital and doctors there expect him to make a full recovery.

The accident occurred while Riley was traveling on a dirt and gravel road, Stewart wrote. As it began to rain, Riley hit a slick spot and had to “lay the motorcycle down” to avoid losing control. He was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

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Riley will return to Alabama as soon as his doctors clear him to travel, the release said. Former First Lady Patsy Riley is traveling to Alaska to be with Governor Riley.

Sen. Bryan Taylor, R-Prattville, released the following statement after learning of Riley’s accident.

“There’s never been a governor tougher than Bob Riley.  If I learned one thing from Gov. Riley, it’s that without risk, there can be no great rewards.  Jessica and I join his family and all Alabamians in praying for his speedy and complete recovery, and we congratulate him on accomplishing his long-time dream of a cross-country motorcycle trek all the way to Alaska.  Now, we can’t wait to have him back home in Alabama.”

Taylor is a first-term Republican state senator. Previously, he served as Gov. Riley’s personal aide and then as Policy Director and Counsel to the former Governor.