Philly Sheriff Lt. injured in elevator accident released from hospital

- It was a big day for a Philadelphia Sheriff's Lieutenant who was injured in a horrific elevator accident last year.

Philadelphia Sheriff's Lt. Paul Owens is finally leaving rehab, but he has a long road ahead of him.

"I feel a lot better than I did when I first got here. I'm just happy to go home," said Owens.

Lt. Owens left the Magee Rehabilitation Center Tuesday morning, with his family by his side. He was critically injured in a violent elevator accident at the Criminal Justice Center back in August.

READ MORE: 2 injured in elevator accident at Criminal Justice Center

Owens says he's looking forward to spending time with his family.

"It's been a long time, almost six months," said Owens.

Owens suffered severe head and chest injuries when the employee elevator he was on crashed through the concrete ceiling of the elevator shaft.

Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams said, "He's come a long way from the day of the accident, certainly Magee has done a tremendous job from what I saw the first day."

Owens' doctor was also on hand Tuesday to congratulate the 50-year-old on his much anticipated release.

"Paul's worked really hard to get to this point. He's put in hours and hours of work in the gym, working on trying to get more mobile," said Doctor Brian Kucer.

Owens still has months of intense daily rehab ahead.

As for his prognosis, Dr. Kucer says it's up to him.

"Paul's got a great work ethic, and the sky is the limit for him," said Kucer.

Sheriff Williams says he looks forward to the day Owens can return to work.

"Any way we can bring him back, we'll bring his back, even if he's in a wheel chair, we'll bring him back. We will find something for him to do," said Williams. 

The City released the following statement: 

"The City has yet to receive the complaint and cannot comment on the filing.  The City, along with the state Department of Labor and Industry, are continuing their investigation into the accident, assisted by independent elevator safety experts.  The exact cause is still undetermined.

It is important to note that the elevators now in use at the Stout Center for Criminal Justice have been fully cleared for use by state inspectors and independent elevator inspectors retained by the City.  Nonetheless we are working on continuing improvements to the elevators in the building, and the safety of those who work and visit the building is the absolute top priority. "

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