Traficant condition ‘very critical’


YOUNGSTOWN — Ex-U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. remains in “very critical condition” with serious injuries as the result of a farm-tractor accident, according to his family’s spokeswoman.

Heidi Hanni, an attorney and the family’s spokeswoman, said today that Traficant, 73, is surrounded by his family members at St. Elizabeth Health Center, where he was taken Tuesday evening.

“The family wanted me to convey their appreciation for the prayers and support,” she said. “Also, I can’t convey enough the family needs their privacy.”

Hanni declined to discuss the specifics of Traficant’s condition.

Linda Kovachik, a longtime family friend and former aide to Traficant said Wednesday that Traficant was in a medically induced coma, is believed to have had a heart attack causing the tractor accident, and that doctors are giving him a battery of tests and scans to determine if there is any brain activity.

Hanni said Wednesday that the former congressman is “sedated,” but not in a medically induced coma, that there was no confirmation from doctors about multiple heart attacks, and physicians are following a process so they “have time to figure out what the deal is.”

Traficant was driving a 1943 Ford tractor about 7:50 p.m. Tuesday at his family farm on West South Range Road in Greenford. About 140 feet into a large pole barn the vehicle struck a large steel blade on the ground, Goshen Police Chief Steven T. McDaniel has said. That caused the tractor to roll over backward onto Traficant, still in the driver’s seat; Traficant was trapped underneath the vehicle, the chief said.

For further updates check News Watch and for the complete story, read Friday’s Vindicator or Vindy.com.

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