A medical examiner studying a body in a morgue was startled when the man took a shallow breath.

Emergency medical technicians had declared 29-year-old Larry D. Green dead almost two hours earlier, after he was hit by a car.

Medical examiner J.B. Perdue was called to the accident scene Monday but did not examine Green then. Later, he was documenting Green's injuries when he noticed the man was breathing.

"I had to look twice myself just to make sure it was there, that's how subtle it was," Perdue said.

Green, 29, was taken to Duke University Medical Center (search) in Durham, where he was in critical condition Wednesday.

Several members of the Franklin County emergency medical service have been suspended pending an investigation, said Darnell Batton, the county attorney.