He was hit from behind while working a traffic stop along Interstate 80 last Monday. Douglas County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Dave Wintle may not be able to return to his job for nearly a year. He shared his story Friday with Channel 6 News.
It's a little tougher for Wintle to get around these days. “All the ligaments are damaged in there, but the ACL is what's torn.” He was just released from the hospital.
His left leg and knee were crushed during what started as a traffic stop just past the Q Street exit off I-80. "I heard a crunching metal noise and saw a flash of red and next thing I know I'm flying through the air and hit the ground and waiting for the car that was hitting us to run over me and it of course never happened."
A pickup driven by 18-year-old Lucas Greene of Bellevue crossed onto the shoulder, crashing into Deputy Wintle's cruiser. "The driver's side front end of my cruiser is what hit me, the other driver smashed into the back of my cruiser, sent it up 15-20 feet up where it hit me and then continued down the road."
The driver of the vehicle Wintle had pulled over was not seriously hurt and rushed to Wintle's aid. But inside Wintle's cruiser was his best friend Kubo. “They got him out of the cruiser and took him right up to the vet and checked him out. He was given a couple pain pills and he was fine."
Now the question is not if but when Deputy Wintle and K9 Kubo will be back at work. "I love what I'm doing, so yeah, I'm back. I'd go back today if I could."
Wintle will have surgery on his leg in the near future. It could be up to a year before he can return to work and until he does Kubo will be by his side, just taken in for weekly training so he stays in shape.
As for the driver of the pickup, no word what if any charges he faces.