SkyWest Airlines chairman and chief executive officer Jerry C. Atkin is recovering from the injuries he suffered in a motorcycle accident March 12 in California and is expected to return to his job, the St. George-based carrier said Thursday.

Ron B. Reber, executive vice president, said Atkin was riding alone on a motorcycle 40 miles northeast of San Diego when he collided with a car."Jerry sustained multiple fractures to the left arm and left leg as well as secondary internal injuries," said Reber. "There were neither head injuries nor trauma to his spine or nervous system."

Atkin is currently at Palomar Hospital in Escondido where hospital officials report that his condition is serious but stable.

" are gratified to report that Mr. Atkin is alert and able to communicate. Moreover, he is expected to fully recover, and his injuries will not prevent him from fulfilling his leadership responsibilities at SkyWest Inc.

"Our organizational structure is designed to sustain normal day to day operations and accommodate Jerry's business or personal travel schedule, which can include an extended absence from headquarters," said Reber

He said company executives are communicating frequently with Atkin "and do not expect his hospitalization and rehabilitation to negatively affect the company's operations."

Atkin is expected to remain at Palomar Medical Center until April 1. Get-well messages can be addressed to him at SkyWest Airlines, 444 South River Road, St. George, UT 84790.

SkyWest Airlines is the nation's eighth largest regional carrier and provides service under marketing agreements with Delta, United and Continental Airlines. It operates some 570 daily in 12 Western states and Canada.