Officer Takes First Step On Long Road Back

By: Brittany Gunter Email
By: Brittany Gunter Email

It's been a long road to recovery for an Omaha police officer injured by a distracted driver two months ago.

Officer Lou Tomsu sat next to his wife Adele Saturday at the Madonna Rehabilitation Center in Lincoln, opening letters of encouragement from the community. They appreciate the support because for a while they weren't even sure he would make it to this point.

“It's hard to watch and see the pain he's been through,” said wife Adele.

On February 20th, the 46-year-old Tomsu, a 19-year veteran of the Omaha Police Department, was sitting in his police car at an accident at South 50th and L streets when the cruiser was struck from behind by a distracted driver. The impact caused his cruiser to smash into a garbage truck that was involved in the accident and he was seriously injured. “I don't remember the collision at all."


crash

He does remember waking up in the hospital with a broken back and ribs. The most difficult part of his battle has been with blood clots. “To watch all the setbacks and things that have gone on, it's been very difficult,” said Adele.

Difficult and emotional, but they've fought through it. Adele is also an Omaha police officer and both say they've learned something from this. “I do have a new appreciation for what that person that's been injured is going to go through," said Lou.

They say there's also an important lesson here for everyone about distracted driving. “Just don't do it, there's nothing that can't wait," said Adele.

Lou will continue his rehabilitation that’s already seen progress just by him walking, but he's still got work to do before he accomplishes his goal. “Just to get home. I'd like to get back to work, back to normal life, doing things with my family." He is expected to be at Madonna for a few more weeks, then hopefully go to outpatient rehab.

The driver of the SUV that hit the police car, 39-year-old Michele Eshelman, was not hurt. Police say it appears she may have attempted to retrieve a phone charger from the floor just before the crash.


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