BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho State Trooper was injured after being hit by a car Thursday morning on Interstate 84 in Jerome County.
According to Idaho State Police (ISP), around 8:30 a.m., an Idaho State Police Sergeant responded to a vehicle fire on the westbound lane of I-84. While providing assistance and traffic control, he was hit by a passing vehicle.
The Sergeant, later identified as Mike Wendler, was critically injured in the incident and flown by St. Luke's to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.
In a post on Facebook, ISP posted the following message:
“Yesterday was a difficult day for the men and women who serve with the Idaho State Police. We are grateful for the numerous police, fire, and other agencies across our state who stepped in to help,” Colonel Kedrick Wills said. “We are profoundly humbled by the outpouring of support we received from the people of our great state. It has reinforced our belief that Idaho is truly a great place to live and serve. Until we know more, we ask you to keep Sergeant Wendler, his family, friends, and co-workers in your prayers as we continue through this challenging time.”
KTVB received an update on Wendler’s condition on Monday, September 12 from his verified GoFundMe page. Wendler is showing positive signs of recovery, with some medical devices being removed and doctors now focusing on physical injuries.
"This morning his wife Amy, family and friends were greeted with Mike's smile, and he recognized every person in the room and is able to hold short conversations with each one," said ISP trooper Mike Hausauer. "He is aware of his surroundings and is giving hugs and fist bumps. His vital signs continue to improve as well."
Hausauer started the GoFundMe to help Wendler’s family cover any unexpected expenses and in just a couple days more than 500 people have raised more than $45,000 to help.
On Wednesday, Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) posted on Facebook that they are happy to hear that Wendler is recovering from his injuries and that Hausauer previously gave an update saying:
"Overnight Mike would wake up upon command, knew his name and location as well as following some basic commands. His vitals look great and continue to improve. Overall, all systems continue to heal. This morning he is on light oxygen and breathing on his own. He wakes up calm and is not agitated. He is taking ice chips and sips of water as needed."
“His condition is expected to remain the same with gradual improvements,” Hausauer said. “He needs lots of rest, quiet environment and continued prayers for continued recovery. The nursing staff and doctors continue to provide amazing care to Mike and we are thankful for each one.”
ITD also said that the investigation into the incident is still pending and asks the public to slow down and move over when emergency personnel are on the road.
The driver who struck the Sergeant stayed on scene to be interviewed by investigators with the Jerome Police Department.
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