Polk County Sheriff's Capt. Kelly McLendon
...Capt. Kelly McLendon was one of three people injured when a Georgia State Patrol helicopter crashed earlier this month.
, it was a difficult hike.Not only is there the discomfort from two cracked ribs, but the discomfort of walking for the first time back to the carash site where he
nearly lost his
cannot talk about it for long, before his
"At the time, you don't have time to reflect on it," McLendon
said."It's been two weeks and I've reflected for 14 days.And it hurts."McLendon
typically spends part of his
summers hovering over Georgia, looking for marijuana plants.He
is part of a state task force fighting illegal drugs.He
was nearly 300 feet above ground earlier this month, when his
chopper started to spin and fall.
"I don't remember hitting the trees," he
said."I don't remember hitting the ground."He
does remember freeing himself and calling for help.He
remembers seeing patrol Corporal David Doehla crawling from the chopper, his
leg injured.And he
remembers reentering the burning helicopter.
They are wounded physically and emotionally, but Kelly McLendon
is here to look over a scarred piece of earth, alive and well.The National Transportation Safety Board
is still investigating the cause of the crash.McLendon
is hoping to return to work next week.As for returning to helicopter duty -- that is something he
will have to think about.