After falling from a roof, La Plata County Commissioner Clyde Church said a fractured hip and spine won’t keep him from fulfilling his duties.
Church, who was elected in fall 2018, said he and a friend were putting up rafters on a woodshed extension in his Falls Creek Ranch backyard on Nov. 23 when he was injured.
“We had the dangerous part done, I thought,” Church said Wednesday in a phone interview with The Durango Herald.
After lunch, Church and his friend went outside to finish the job, but the ground had thawed, destabilizing the ladder. As his friend lifted a rafter to Church, the ladder moved, and Church was left dangling from the roof.
“I was hanging like one of those three-toed sloths,” he joked.
Eventually, Church lost his grip and fell 8 to 10 feet, landing on his back. Doctors determined he fractured his hip and spine.
Church said Wednesday he’s getting around using a walker, and it doesn’t look like he’ll require surgery. He hopes to attend county meetings next week in person. Next year, Church is slated to take over added duties as chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, which includes running meetings. In November, Church, 72, also will become the most experienced county commissioner because Gwen Lachelt and Julie Westendorff are term-limited and can’t seek re-election.
“I’m going to continue on,” he said. “I don’t see any need for a leave of absence or anything. I am fully functional, except I have some chips and cracks.”
But should Church’s condition worsen, the board has a backup plan.
“We can always make arrangements for him to call in or get him materials to keep him in the loop,” said Megan Graham, spokeswoman for La Plata County.
But in the meantime, who’s putting up the Christmas lights at the Church house?
“Nobody,” he said.