Image: James Polehinke
AP
James Polehinke was a co-pilot on Comair Flight 5191, which crashed in Lexington, Ky., on Aug. 27, killing 49.
updated 10/3/2006 1:13:29 PM ET 2006-10-03T17:13:29

The lone survivor of the airliner crash at Lexington’s airport that killed 49 people was released from a hospital Tuesday to begin several weeks of rehabilitation.

James Polehinke, co-pilot of Comair Flight 5191, had been at the University of Kentucky Hospital since the Aug. 27 crash at Blue Grass Airport.

University spokesman Jay Blanton said the family asked that he not release Polehinke’s condition or the location of his rehabilitation.

Earlier Tuesday, in a phone interview with The Associated Press, Polehinke’s mother, Honey Jackson, said she thought it was too soon for him to be released but that he was eager to leave the hospital.

“I want my son to walk out of Kentucky,” Jackson said. “I don’t want him in a wheelchair. Got to stay strong. Got to believe in miracles.”

‘He’s still going through hell’
Polehinke was pulled from the wreckage but all 49 others aboard the regional airliner died. He has undergone surgeries to amputate his left leg, stabilize his spine and repair other injuries.

Relatives have said he doesn’t remember the crash, though he has been told what happened.

“My son is not ready to speak with anybody,” Jackson said. “He’s been through hell. He’s still going through hell.”

According to federal investigators, the flight’s captain, Jeffrey Clay, taxied onto a runway that was too short before Polehinke attempted to get the plane airborne.

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