(Scotts Bluff County, NE) -- Witnesses are credited with saving a western Nebraska sheriff's deputy's life.
The Nebraska State Patrol says just before 7:30 Monday morning, 39 year old Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Deputy Josh Ruzicka was in a single-vehicle crash on the Heartland Expressway in Scottsbluff. The state patrol says preliminary investigation shows that Ruzicka suffered a medical incident while driving his marked patrol vehicle on Highway 71, south of the Highway 26 junction. Investigators say the vehicle then left the roadway and hit an embankment, causing the vehicle to catch fire.
The NSP says multiple witnesses saw the crash and rushed to assist the deputy. Ruzicka was unconscious when the witnesses arrived at the scene, but they were able to extract him from the vehicle and pull him to safety, away from the vehicle and fire. Ruzicka was transported to Regional West Medical Center, where he is alert and in good condition.
“Our entire department is very grateful for the quick actions taken by the witnesses to remove Deputy Ruzicka from the vehicle,” said Scotts Bluff County Sheriff Mark Overman. “We would also like to thank the Scottsbluff Police Department, Scottsbluff Fire Department, Scotts Bluff Rural Fire Department, and Valley Ambulance for their assistance.”
The Nebraska State Patrol is leading the investigation into the crash.