UPDATE 4:07 p.m.: Meg Ladner's condition has been upgraded to stable. Her left leg was amputated, but there is no other update on her overall condition. While there was talk of flying Ladner back to the Atlanta area, no decision has been made. It could be as late as Monday before flight arrangements are made.
UPDATE 3:58 p.m.: A benefit fund has been established at Cherokee Bank to help Officer Shane Ladner and wife Meg. Donations can be made in person at the bank or by mail to: Cherokee Bank, P.O. Box 4250, Canton, GA 30114. Checks should be made payable to: Ladner Benefit Fund. Cherokee Bank has a location in Canton and in Woodstock. For more information, call the bank's Canton branch at (770) 479-3400.
A Holly Springs police officer has been hospitalized for injuries he suffered when a parade float he was riding in was hit by a train in Midland, Texas.
Officer Shane Ladner is being treated for back injuries and has been sedated, said Holly Springs Police Chief Ken Ball. Ladner was one of 25 veterans who were participating in the annual "Hunt for Heroes" event coordinated by Show of Support.
Ball noted Ladner's wife Meg is in critical condition.
The chief said Ladner called the department yesterday evening to inform them of the news.
"He was obviously upset, pretty distraught and worried about his wife more than anything," the chief said Friday morning.
The incident happened around 4 p.m., according to CNN. Four have been confirmed dead and 17 were injured, including Ladner's wife.
Ladner was recently chosen the nonprofit organization, to participate in the Hunt For Heroes event. He was recognized for his military service after he was wounded in combat while on duty in Iraq. The organization has arranged for the Holly Springs police chaplain, Sgt. Brian Cain, to fly out to Midland to be with the Ladners.
Ball said it's unknown when the Ladners will return to the Atlanta area, but noted there are discussions about life-flighting Meg Ladners to a hospital in Atlanta so she can be closer to home.
Ball said the police department is asking for everyone to pray for the Ladners and the families of the victims in the accident.
“From the police department, we just ask for prayers for him and his wife and, of course, all the affected families," he said.
Show of Support displays public support of veterans who were wounded while serving in the military. They award annual honorees with an all-expense paid whitetail deer hunt, an event called Hunt For Heroes. They also participate in an annual parade and banquet before heading out for the annual hunting trip.
The Ladners left on Tuesday for the event. Ladner, a veteran of the United States Army, was wounded twice in combat, which he was recognized with a Valor Award. His injuries eventually forced him to retire from active duty service in the Army.
Ladner has been served in law enforcement since 2005. He has been employed with the Holly Springs Police Department for three years.