FULLERTON : Councilman Out of Hospital After Crash

Councilman Chris Norby, injured over the weekend in a car accident, returned home Tuesday after spending three days in the hospital.

Norby said he bruised his heart in the crash, causing an irregular heartbeat that will have to be monitored until it stabilizes. He also cut his head and needed stitches over his left eye. His left ankle also was badly sprained, he said.

Norby sounded tired but relieved to be out of the hospital. "It's funny, in the hospital you feel worse than you do at home, since you're around all these sick people," he said. "I feel fortunate. It could be worse."

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Norby's 1988 Ford Taurus and another car collided at 11:25 a.m. Saturday on Harbor Boulevard in La Habra Heights.

Deputy Donald Blades said the accident is being investigated. However, he said it appears that Norby was traveling south on Harbor Boulevard when his car collided with a 1992 Mercedes-Benz traveling east on Peppertree Drive. Antonio Lopez, a 67-year-old businessman, and his wife, Julie, 49, were in the other car.

Norby was airlifted to Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, where he said he was in intensive care for two nights.

The Lopezes were taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where Antonio Lopez is still recuperating. He said his hip is fractured and he has heavy bruising on his left side. He does not know how the accident happened.

"All of a sudden there was an impact to my car," he said. His wife has been released from the hospital, he said.

Norby said he and his son, Alex, 2, were visiting with his sister-in-law in Monterey Park. He left Alex at his sister-in-law's and drove back home. He said he does not remember any details of the accident.

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