Sanders out of hospital after car accident

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City Councilman James Sanders (D−Laurelton) will be spending his Thanksgiving holiday at home recovering from injuries he sustained in a car accident upstate, his office said.

Sanders, 51, was released from New York Presbyterian Hospital Sunday after he spent a week there after surviving a serious crash Nov. 15 near Newburgh, N.Y., said Donovan Richards, the councilman’s district manager.

Richards, who was also hurt in the same car crash as the councilman, did not disclose the extent of Sanders’ injuries, but said his boss was feeling much better and was in high spirits.

“He should be fully up in the next couple of weeks. We’ve got too much work to do,” the district manager said.

Sanders and Richards were in a car that was being driven by Mike Duvalle, a South Ozone Park Civic Association member and former state Assembly candidate, and on their way back to New York from a trip to the Poconos two weeks ago. Around 3:15 p.m., the driver lost control on the rain−soaked road somewhere upstate, hit a divider and rolled several times.

All were rushed to St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, where the councilman was listed in serious condition. Sanders, who was in the intensive care unit, was transferred to New York Presbyterian the next day.

Duvalle did not suffer serious injuries and was released. He could not be reached for comment. Richards needed several stitches to his head and was also released.

The elected official and his staff have received an outpouring of well−wishes from his fellow southeast Queens leaders, including U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D−Jamaica), who spoke kindly of him at a news conference in Rosedale Monday.

“We send out our thoughts and prayers to one of our colleagues,” he said.

Sanders and his two colleagues were in the Poconos scouting a location for a retreat house that the councilman plans on using to help troubled southeast Queens youth. Richards said that the councilman would be back working at City Hall sometime after Thanksgiving, but was already planning ahead from his hospital bed.

“He’s already working. There’s no rest for the weary,” the district manager joked.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 146.

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