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South Carolina congressional candidate out of ICU

CHARLESTON (AP) A Republican South Carolina congressional candidate who was seriously injured in a wreck last week is out of intensive care, and her Democratic opponent says he will resume his campaign.

Katie Arrington left the ICU on June 27 night and has started physical therapy as she recovers from a June 22 wreck that left her with a broken back, ribs and severe internal bleeding, campaign spokesman Michael Mule said.

Arrington, 47, is expected to spend at least another week in the hospital, although her doctors said at a news conference her good health and strong spirit likely mean she will make a full recovery.

Arrington’s Democratic opponent in November’s election, Joe Cunningham, said he will soon resume his campaign, which he had suspended hours after Arrington’s wreck.

In a note to supporters, Cunningham said he was thankful Arrington is recovering and appreciative his supporters understood why he needed to pause after the wreck.

“Over the next few months, this race will get even more hectic. There will be ups and downs and good days and bad days. But I am committed to winning this race,” Cunningham wrote.

Arrington defeated incumbent Mark Sanford in the June 12 primary for the 1st District, which runs from Charleston to Beaufort.

Just three nights later, a friend was driving her to an event on Hilton Head Island when a wrong-way driver slammed into her vehicle on a stretch of U.S. Highway 17 south of Charleston where the speed limit is 60 mph (97 kph), according to the collision report from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver of the other car, 69-year-old Helen White, died from her injuries. Her son said she had trouble driving at night and she was not wearing her seatbelt, according to the collision report.

The woman driving Arrington, Jacqueline Goff, was also critically injured and is recovering.

Mule said several Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, have promised to campaign for Arrington while she is recovering.

“She and her family are extremely grateful for the continued prayers, support and encouragement being offered,” Mule said in a statement.

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