LANDSTUHL, Germany – A CBS News correspondent seriously wounded by a car bomb that killed two colleagues in Iraq briefly regained consciousness during a flight to Germany, where she will be treated at a U.S. military hospital, the network said Tuesday.
Kimberly Dozier was receiving medical care at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center for injuries to her head and legs, and was in critical but stable condition, the "CBS Evening News" reported.
CBS said Dozier, a 39-year-old American, underwent two operations in Baghdad before being transferred to Landstuhl, the U.S. military's largest medical facility abroad. Vice President Sandy Genelius told The Associated Press that Dozier was expected to stay at Landstuhl for several days.
"We are encouraged by reports from her doctors," Genelius said. "Generally, it's positive in that she's certainly stable and the doctors are feeling more positive than they have been."
Col. W. Bryan Gamble said Dozier was responsive during the flight, opening her eyes and moving her toes as she was transferred, but that it was too soon to speculate on her recovery.
"It's really hard right now to ascertain how much of a recovery period she will need and what the extent of her rehabilitation will be, it's really too early into the process of the trauma to know that right now," Gamble said.
"She was critically wounded from the ... blast, but right now she is doing as well as can be expected," he said, adding that Dozier was expected to undergo several other routine operations.
Medical officials are awaiting the arrival of her family, expected Wednesday, to decide when she would be transferred to the United States, Gamble said.
Dozier, along with cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan were traveling in a U.S. military convoy working on a story about Memorial Day when a car bomb exploded.
CBS News reported on its Web site that the three journalists — all embedded with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division — had been in an armored Humvee. However, at the time of the blast they were outside on the street, accompanying troops who had stopped to inspect a checkpoint manned by the Iraqi Army. The site said they were wearing helmets, flak jackets and protective eyeglasses.
Douglas and Brolan, both British citizens, were killed. A U.S. soldier and an Iraqi translator also died in the blast.
The explosion occurred on the same day a series of blasts killed at least 40 people in Iraq and wounded dozens more in the worst wave of violence to hit Baghdad in days.
"Our deepest sympathy goes out to the families of Paul and James, and we are hoping and praying for a complete recovery by Kimberly," CBS News President Sean McManus said in a statement.
Douglas, 48, a British national based in London, had worked for CBS News since the early 1990s in places including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Rwanda and Bosnia. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren, CBS said.
Brolan, 42, who also was based in London, had worked with CBS News during the last year in Iraq and Afghanistan as a freelancer. The British citizen leaves behind his wife of 20 years, Geri, and two children — 18-year-old Sam and 12-year-old Agatha.
"James had a natural way with people and was always in demand as the person to go with to the world's trouble spots; always putting the locals at ease, winning friends everywhere he went and always putting in his best effort," his family said in a statement.
In addition to her time in Iraq, Dozier also had worked as the chief correspondent for WCBS-TV New York's Middle East bureau in Jerusalem, and previously as London bureau chief and chief European correspondent for CBS Radio News.
Dozier graduated magna cum laude from Wellesley College, majoring in human rights and Spanish, according to her biography on the CBS News Web site. She later earned a master's degree in foreign affairs, specializing in the Middle East, from the University of Virginia.
McManus called the three "veterans of war coverage who proved their bravery and dedication every single day." They always volunteered for dangerous assignments and were invaluable in our attempt to report the news to the American public."
Dozens of journalists have been injured, killed or kidnapped in Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Before Monday's attack, the Committee to Protect Journalists had put the number of journalists killed in Iraq at 69. Of those, nearly three-quarters were Iraqis, the New York-based group said.
In January, ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt were injured while covering the war in Iraq. They were standing in the hatch of an Iraqi mechanized vehicle, reporting on the war from the Iraqi troops' perspective, when a roadside bomb exploded. Both were wearing body armor, which doctors say likely saved their lives.
Woodruff, who co-anchored "World News Tonight" with Elizabeth Vargas, is still recovering from serious head injuries.