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Pulaski native in critical condition

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A Pulaski County native is in critical condition in a North Carolina hospital after being involved in what police are calling an “affray” in Wilkesboro, N.C.
Bob Millirons, perhaps best known for his local recreational softball feats in the late 1980s to early ‘90s, has been in critical condition at Wake Forest University’s Baptist Medical Center since being airlifted there Friday, Sept. 12, according to family members.
Millirons’ son, Andy, said Millirons was at work, driving a truck for food distributor US Foods, when an altercation occurred with some people in another vehicle.
Millirons suffered “severe brain trauma,” Andy said. He said doctors have indicated they will have to “wait and see” how much memory and function Millirons will recover.
As for the other men involved in the situation, Andy said they have not been charged. Several people witnessed the incident, but he said he has not yet been able to get an incident report from the police.
“The longer I wait, the more aggravated I get,” he said.
Andy is on leave from local employer Cintas so he can be in North Carolina with his father. He has been given his father’s power of attorney while Millirons is incapacitated.
Tami Conner Hayes, Andy’s mother and Millirons’ former wife, said the incident makes her really angry.
“He was left laying unconscious and bleeding on the side of the road,” she said of Millirons. “Nothing was taken from him. It was just meanness.
“He’s a hardworking man who’s never done anything to hurt anyone,” she said.
“He’s very active. He’s always been very active. Now, he’s lying there with a neck brace on from here to here (she pointed from her chest area to about her nose). He may never be able to work again. He may never have his memory back again,” she said.
Hayes said Millirons doesn’t really recognize people most of the time, and he can hardly talk. She explained that he became combative due to his brain injury when he started to regain consciousness and ripped his respirator tube out, causing damage to his esophagus.
Although he has been moved into a step-down unit from intensive care, Andy said his father remains listed as critical. He said the move was more due to space needs in ICU than the result of any significant improvement.
Hayes said Millirons now has a fever, so doctors believe he has some kind of staph infection.
Once his condition improves sufficiently, he’ll have to be moved to a rehabilitation facility.
Hayes says “bits and pieces” of information seem to be coming back to Millirons from time to time, but what he remembers one day he may forget the next.
Hayes said they don’t know whether Millirons remembers Andy is his son or whether he knows it just because they had to tell him when he first regained consciousness.
“He’ll call him Andy one day, but, the next, he might call him Fred,” she said.
She said Andy and Millirons are “best friends,” and she added, “I won’t have my son without his father.” She said people always referred to them as Big Bob and Little Bob.
According to Hayes, Millirons has a fractured temple bone, nose and ribs. She said he is really lucky to be alive.
“They truly didn’t know if he was going to live last Friday and Saturday,” she said. “It’s like a big angel has arms wrapped around him.”
Also, she noted, Millirons once was injured in a softball accident that could have made his nose fracture more serious.
While playing recreational softball in Pulaski County, she said, Millirons was hit in the face with a pitch, and “it nearly tore his nose off his face.” She said doctors, at that time, told him he could be killed if he ever got hit in the nose again.
Friday, Eddie Sutphin with the county’s recreation department recalled how serious that injury was. He said it is one of the worst injuries he has ever seen in his years of involvement with recreation.
Wilkes County, N.C., police said Friday that information they have received so far in the investigation indicates the altercation was essentially “mutual combat.”
Hayes said she doesn’t accept that. She said the first police officer Andy talked to told him no one ever saw Millirons throw a punch.
Detective Captain Steve Cabe of Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office said police have not yet been able to talk to Millirons to get his side of the incident. He said doctors do not want them speaking to him yet.
Should Millirons never be able to remember what happened, he said, police will take all the information they have obtained to the district attorney, who will determine whether to file any charges.
Cabe said the incident occurred around 3 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Highway 16 South and Highway 18.
He said the men on the other side of the situation indicated they passed Millirons’ truck on Highway 16, then stopped in front of him at a stoplight at the intersection.
“They said he (Millirons) drove up behind them quickly and stopped close to the back of the car.”
At that point, the driver of the car got out and started back to the truck, and Millirons got out and started walking toward the car, Cabe said, as he described their account of the incident.
Cabe said the men apparently met near the rear of the car and the front of the truck and “an affray (or fight) occurred.”
Cabe said the other men indicated Millirons fell during the fight, hitting his head on the pavement and causing “rather severe damage” to his head.
He said the passenger in the car apparently got out to try to break up the fight, but Hayes said it is her understanding Millirons was “attacked” by both men.
Hayes said the men turned themselves over to police after the incident, and the police later released them.

However, Cabe said, the men left the scene and drove to an intake office at a local courthouse, where police were informed of the incident and responded to find Millirons injured. He said the men left the scene because they did not have a cell phone to call police.
According to Hayes, Millirons was on his cell phone with someone and told them he would call them back because something was being thrown at his windshield. Another person called him just as he hung up, and he told that person the same thing, she said.
Cabe acknowledged the men were allowed to leave and that they have not been charged.
He said officers are still trying to “run down” one other witness whose name they were just able to obtain. However, he noted, they may learn of additional witnesses when they talk to that one.
Cabe says witnesses they have spoken with so far indicate it was essentially mutual combat.
Although the men in the car are employed by a distribution center in that area, Cabe said he doesn’t know whether Millirons’ company ever picked up loads from that center.
Sutphin, with the local recreation department, said Millirons was not only a good softball player with the recreation league, he also was good at basketball.
He said Millirons led the softball league in home runs one year and also was a league most valuable player (MVP) one year.
Pulaski Town Manager John Hawley said Millirons was one of the power hitters on teams he managed in the late 1980s to early 1990s.
One of the teams, sponsored by Bowers Plumbing, won the National Softball Association Championship around 1988 to 1989, he added.
Hayes said Millirons also played on the Lavender’s Car Wash team one year.
Millirons is the son of the late Randolph and Ann Millirons.
He is a 1979 graduate of Pulaski County High School.
In order to help cover Millirons’ medical bills and assist Andy with his expenses while in North Carolina, Hayes set up a fund at BB&T bank Friday.
She said Andy, who has a three-month-old daughter and a seven-year-old stepchild, is on unpaid leave from work and could use some help with expenses, even though he does not like to ask for help.
Anyone wishing to make a donation, may drop it off at any BB&T branch in care of the Millirons Family Fund.
Hayes said it is her understanding that Cintas also has placed out containers at their office to collect donations.
You may contact Melinda Williams at melinda@southwesttimes.com

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Pulaski native in critical condition

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A Pulaski County native is in critical condition in a North Carolina hospital after being involved in what police are calling an “affray” in Wilkesboro, N.C.
Bob Millirons, perhaps best known for his local recreational softball feats in the late 1980s to early ‘90s, has been in critical condition at Wake Forest University’s Baptist Medical Center since being airlifted there Friday, Sept. 12, according to family members.
Millirons’ son, Andy, said Millirons was at work, driving a truck for food distributor US Foods, when an altercation occurred with some people in another vehicle.
Millirons suffered “severe brain trauma,” Andy said. He said doctors have indicated they will have to “wait and see” how much memory and function Millirons will recover.
As for the other men involved in the situation, Andy said they have not been charged. Several people witnessed the incident, but he said he has not yet been able to get an incident report from the police.
“The longer I wait, the more aggravated I get,” he said.
Andy is on leave from local employer Cintas so he can be in North Carolina with his father. He has been given his father’s power of attorney while Millirons is incapacitated.
Tami Conner Hayes, Andy’s mother and Millirons’ former wife, said the incident makes her really angry.
“He was left laying unconscious and bleeding on the side of the road,” she said of Millirons. “Nothing was taken from him. It was just meanness.
“He’s a hardworking man who’s never done anything to hurt anyone,” she said.
“He’s very active. He’s always been very active. Now, he’s lying there with a neck brace on from here to here (she pointed from her chest area to about her nose). He may never be able to work again. He may never have his memory back again,” she said.
Hayes said Millirons doesn’t really recognize people most of the time, and he can hardly talk. She explained that he became combative due to his brain injury when he started to regain consciousness and ripped his respirator tube out, causing damage to his esophagus.
Although he has been moved into a step-down unit from intensive care, Andy said his father remains listed as critical. He said the move was more due to space needs in ICU than the result of any significant improvement.
Hayes said Millirons now has a fever, so doctors believe he has some kind of staph infection.
Once his condition improves sufficiently, he’ll have to be moved to a rehabilitation facility.
Hayes says “bits and pieces” of information seem to be coming back to Millirons from time to time, but what he remembers one day he may forget the next.
Hayes said they don’t know whether Millirons remembers Andy is his son or whether he knows it just because they had to tell him when he first regained consciousness.
“He’ll call him Andy one day, but, the next, he might call him Fred,” she said.
She said Andy and Millirons are “best friends,” and she added, “I won’t have my son without his father.” She said people always referred to them as Big Bob and Little Bob.
According to Hayes, Millirons has a fractured temple bone, nose and ribs. She said he is really lucky to be alive.
“They truly didn’t know if he was going to live last Friday and Saturday,” she said. “It’s like a big angel has arms wrapped around him.”
Also, she noted, Millirons once was injured in a softball accident that could have made his nose fracture more serious.
While playing recreational softball in Pulaski County, she said, Millirons was hit in the face with a pitch, and “it nearly tore his nose off his face.” She said doctors, at that time, told him he could be killed if he ever got hit in the nose again.
Friday, Eddie Sutphin with the county’s recreation department recalled how serious that injury was. He said it is one of the worst injuries he has ever seen in his years of involvement with recreation.
Wilkes County, N.C., police said Friday that information they have received so far in the investigation indicates the altercation was essentially “mutual combat.”
Hayes said she doesn’t accept that. She said the first police officer Andy talked to told him no one ever saw Millirons throw a punch.
Detective Captain Steve Cabe of Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office said police have not yet been able to talk to Millirons to get his side of the incident. He said doctors do not want them speaking to him yet.
Should Millirons never be able to remember what happened, he said, police will take all the information they have obtained to the district attorney, who will determine whether to file any charges.
Cabe said the incident occurred around 3 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Highway 16 South and Highway 18.
He said the men on the other side of the situation indicated they passed Millirons’ truck on Highway 16, then stopped in front of him at a stoplight at the intersection.
“They said he (Millirons) drove up behind them quickly and stopped close to the back of the car.”
At that point, the driver of the car got out and started back to the truck, and Millirons got out and started walking toward the car, Cabe said, as he described their account of the incident.
Cabe said the men apparently met near the rear of the car and the front of the truck and “an affray (or fight) occurred.”
Cabe said the other men indicated Millirons fell during the fight, hitting his head on the pavement and causing “rather severe damage” to his head.
He said the passenger in the car apparently got out to try to break up the fight, but Hayes said it is her understanding Millirons was “attacked” by both men.
Hayes said the men turned themselves over to police after the incident, and the police later released them.

However, Cabe said, the men left the scene and drove to an intake office at a local courthouse, where police were informed of the incident and responded to find Millirons injured. He said the men left the scene because they did not have a cell phone to call police.
According to Hayes, Millirons was on his cell phone with someone and told them he would call them back because something was being thrown at his windshield. Another person called him just as he hung up, and he told that person the same thing, she said.
Cabe acknowledged the men were allowed to leave and that they have not been charged.
He said officers are still trying to “run down” one other witness whose name they were just able to obtain. However, he noted, they may learn of additional witnesses when they talk to that one.
Cabe says witnesses they have spoken with so far indicate it was essentially mutual combat.
Although the men in the car are employed by a distribution center in that area, Cabe said he doesn’t know whether Millirons’ company ever picked up loads from that center.
Sutphin, with the local recreation department, said Millirons was not only a good softball player with the recreation league, he also was good at basketball.
He said Millirons led the softball league in home runs one year and also was a league most valuable player (MVP) one year.
Pulaski Town Manager John Hawley said Millirons was one of the power hitters on teams he managed in the late 1980s to early 1990s.
One of the teams, sponsored by Bowers Plumbing, won the National Softball Association Championship around 1988 to 1989, he added.
Hayes said Millirons also played on the Lavender’s Car Wash team one year.
Millirons is the son of the late Randolph and Ann Millirons.
He is a 1979 graduate of Pulaski County High School.
In order to help cover Millirons’ medical bills and assist Andy with his expenses while in North Carolina, Hayes set up a fund at BB&T bank Friday.
She said Andy, who has a three-month-old daughter and a seven-year-old stepchild, is on unpaid leave from work and could use some help with expenses, even though he does not like to ask for help.
Anyone wishing to make a donation, may drop it off at any BB&T branch in care of the Millirons Family Fund.
Hayes said it is her understanding that Cintas also has placed out containers at their office to collect donations.
You may contact Melinda Williams at melinda@southwesttimes.com

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