An outpouring of support continued Monday for Lowell Police Chief Joe Landers, who remains in critical condition at a Florida hospital.
The chief suffered a fractured skull, a broken pelvis and other injuries in Panama City Beach on Friday, when his Harley collided with a car that police say pulled in front of him without signaling.
Jimmy John Christo, 52, of Panama City, was arrested after fleeing the accident site. He has been charged with possession of marijuana, leaving the scene of an accident and other violations.
Every Tuesday, Jose’s hosts a bike night at the Springdale restaurant. This week Bike Night doubles as a fundraiser for the 51-year-old Landers. Lowell Police officers have worked with the local community to arrange the fundraiser, which is set to be held May 1 at 6 p.m.
Jose’s owner, Doug Allen, says he hopes the event will show the chief’s family some much needed support.
“We wish the best to the family. We hope we can do them some good,” Allen said. “We are very sorry about his accident and wish him a very speedy recovery.”
The outpouring of support for the chief continues not only locally but also nationally.
In Panama City on Monday police officers and others on motorcycles rode as a group around the hospital where the chief is undergoing care. The chief had been in Panama City for a motorcycle event at the time of his accident.
“For people that don’t even know who Joe Landers is, that is heart-warming for sure,” Benton County Deputy Chief Doug Gay said. “That’s a remarkable thing that people would ride around a complete stranger.”
Gay said the local law enforcement community is devastated by the accident but hope their prayers will help the chief recover.
“Any time we lose someone or someone gets injured, whether it’s in the line of duty, (an) injury or accident, or if it is a personal issue like this, we all feel it,” he said.
Family members on the Facebook page “Pray for Joe Landers” said a neurologist was scheduled to examine the chief on Monday. In fewer than 24 hours, the page hit nearly 600 “likes.”
The family said Sunday the chief was suffering from brain swelling and had minimal brain and eye activity.