Murrieta Fire Chief Matt Shobert, who was sent to an intensive care unit after being hit in his face by a rock during a brush clearing operation, has been released from the hospital, a spokesman said Saturday.
Shobert was discharged Friday night from Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he had undergone a four-hour to six-hour operation Wednesday.
He was injured in what fire officials termed a "freak accident" involving a large mowing machine at the Bear Creek gate community in Murrieta.
"He's got a long road ahead," Murrieta Fire Capt. Matt Corelli said of Shobert, who he said is alert, lucid and recovering at home. "He's made a quick turn-around."
The veteran firefighter, who was appointed Murrieta fire chief in 2011, will be placed on indefinite administrative leave. A battalion chief is expected to helm the fire department during the interim, Corelli said.
Shobert was not available for comment Saturday.
Shobert stood about 100 feet away from the machine that was being operated Wednesday morning by a maintenance person on a slope. The fire chief and the other Murrieta firefighters were on hand to oversee the job in clearing out the dried brush, Murrieta Fire Capt. Matt Corelli said.
The machine apparently struck a rock which flung into Shobert's face. At first, Shobert thought he had been wounded by gunfire, which prompted him to get in his vehicle and drive about 50 feet away from the site.
Shobert pulled over to make a distress call, Corelli said.
Paramedics took the injured fire chief to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar and he was later flown out to Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, where he was initially listed in critical condition upon his arrival, a hospital spokesman said.
Corelli couldn't recall another time when something like this ever happened during his time with the Murrieta Fire Department.
"It was such a freak accident," he said.
— City News Service.