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Survivor of fiery wreck leaves hospital after 14 months

Posted March 12, 2010

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— A Sanford man involved in a fiery wreck on Interstate 40 almost 14 months ago headed home from the hospital Friday.

Robert Leffer, 49, was driving a garbage truck on I-40 near Wade Avenue on Jan. 26, 2009, when an SUV cut across several lanes of traffic, causing a chain-reaction wreck, authorities said. Leffer's truck flipped, landed in the woods and burst into flames.

He suffered burns on 80 percent of his body and has undergone numerous surgeries and daily physical and occupational therapy at the North Carolina Jaycee Burns Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Leffer's wife, Amalia, and 2-year-old son Robert, spent most of their time in Chapel Hill to be near him as he recovered.


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  • SweetB Mar 16, 2010

    What an inspiration!!!! God bless you and keep you and your family.

  • liskm Mar 12, 2010

    Congrats on going home Robert, there is no place like it!
    I briefly met your lovely wife, while I was visiting a family member also in the Jaycee Burn Center...a year ago, this month. JCBC ROCKS! What a dedicated bunch of people! Amazing place and Amazing Grace there. Best wishes to you and your family!

  • American56 Mar 12, 2010

    What an amazing story.

    Best wishes to Mr. Leffer and his wife and son.

  • Skywatch_NC Mar 12, 2010

    Mr. Leffer, wishing you and your family the very best! :)

  • sssh.. whisper Mar 12, 2010

    Glad to hear you are hope. Prayers to you in hopes that you only continue to feel better.

  • KniftyKnitter Mar 12, 2010

    Wow! It's amazing he survived with 80% burns! Best of luck to you and your family, Mr. Leffer!!

  • CestLaVie Mar 12, 2010

    kebsmom: I've decided most people are just in a fog, whether induced by legal or illegal drugs.

    So glad to hear this man is recovering well enough to go home. My prayers to him & his family.

  • mycatbubba Mar 12, 2010

    I wish the best for this young family!

  • kebsmom Mar 12, 2010

    I am so glad he is home and doing well. This was such a preventable accident. I saw a car do this very thing on my way into work this morning. At the I40/I85 split in Orange County a car flew across 4 lanes to get to the I40 cut off. Drivers, pay attention to where you are!!

  • freedomrings Mar 12, 2010

    He looks great!!! Blessings to his family and him and we'll keep praying for him.

    Please respect big trucks on the road. We almost lost one of my family members in an identical manner.