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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Flower Mound officer recounts brush with death

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...2.4b59929.html

    12:00 AM CST on Monday, January 12, 2009
    By WENDY HUNDLEY / The Dallas Morning News
    whundley@dallasnews.com

    FLOWER MOUND, TX – Police Officer Kevin Schmidt walks with a little stiffness these days, and he admits to lingering pain in his shoulder. But the 37-year-old Flower Mound police officer isn't complaining after surviving a horrific on-duty motorcycle accident 18 months ago that nearly claimed his life.

    VERNON BRYANT/DMN

    Officer Kevin Schmidt was thrown 70 feet when his motorcycle collided
    with a car in 2007 as he was pursuing a motorist.

    "I was told that nobody thought I would make it," Schmidt said last week during a break from his traffic patrol duties. He doesn't remember the July 25, 2007, crash. Accounts say he was pursuing a motorist eastbound on Cross Timbers Road when a driver in a Toyota Camry turned in front of him. Unable to avoid a collision, Schmidt's motorcycle struck the passenger side of the Camry. The impact threw him more than 70 feet and knocked his helmet from his head.


    LOUIS DeLUCA/DMN

    Flower Mound police Officer Kevin Schmidt recovered at his Midlothian
    home in 2007. An accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, nine
    broken ribs, collapsed lungs and broken bones in his leg, arm, hand and
    wrists. The husband and father of two was flown to John Peter Smith
    Hospital in Fort Worth with a traumatic brain injury, nine broken ribs,
    collapsed lungs and broken bones in his leg, arm, hand and wrists.

    "That's the closest I've seen to an officer being killed in an accident," said Flower Mound police Sgt. Shane Jennings, who thought that his colleague would never return to the police force.

    "When you saw him afterwards, it seemed unlikely," Jennings said. "You've got to be resilient to get back from that."

    Law enforcement jobs are inherently dangerous. Last week, Dallas police Senior Cpl. Norman Smith was shot to death while serving a warrant at an east Oak Cliff apartment.

    A couple of weeks before his own accident, Schmidt attended the funeral of Plano police Officer Dayle "Wes" Hardy, who died under similar circumstances when a driver turned in front of his motorcycle.

    "You think it will never happen to you," Schmidt said. "But it did."

    "They didn't think he was going to make it through the first night," said his wife, Lynn. "They thought he was going to be the first fatality for the Flower Mound Police Department."

    Schmidt spent three weeks in a coma and remained hospitalized for several more before he was transferred to a rehabilitation center. When he did return to his Midlothian home, his recovery continued with daily visits from therapists.

    Through everything, the 2002 Flower Mound Officer of the Year longed to get back to work. Being a police officer "is who he is," his wife said. "He likes to help people. He's very caring."

    He sustained no permanent brain damage. While he has limited range of motion in his shoulder and wrists, the 10-year police veteran can still shoot a gun and carry out other duties.

    He was finally able to return to light duty last July in the police dispatch center. He rejoined the traffic unit in October. But he now operates from a squad car instead of a motorcycle. After his accident, the department expedited its plan to disband the motorcycle unit, a process that had begun in 2005.

    Schmidt said he understands the department's decision but still loves riding motorcycles – including his own Yamaha V-Star 1100. For the most part, however, it stays parked in the family garage these days.

    He'd like to start taking it for long rides again but said: "My wife's not ready for that yet."

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  2. #2
    Captain America's Avatar
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    You sir are one tough hombre. Well done Ofc. Schimdt. May the rest of your career be long and uneventful.
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  3. #3
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    He definitely is that - And a very nice guy.

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    That's one tough sheepdog!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain America View Post
    You sir are one tough hombre. Well done Ofc. Schimdt. May the rest of your career be long and uneventful.
    + 1

    Great News!

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  6. #6
    Radar's Avatar
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    Glad to hear he is doing much better and was able to return to work.

    Is this the officer that was injured trying to pull over and identify an unmarked vehicle running lights and sirens through town? Driven by a railroad bull or something?
    I can't find any old news articles that say much, so I was just wondering.

    Great news that he was able to return to work. Tragic it happened in the first place. Sad that the department is using it as fodder to disband the motorcycle unit, seems he liked working motors.
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  7. #7
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post
    Is this the officer that was injured trying to pull over and identify an unmarked vehicle running lights and sirens through town? Driven by a railroad bull or something?
    Yep, same one - A railroad cop & hazmat expert was racing through town with amber lights in a railroad pickup (as I remember), on his way to an explosion of some fuel storage tanks in Dallas near the railroad where he worked.

    Last I heard, they charged the railroad officer with Deadly Conduct and a number of other things because Flower Mound contended that he had no authority to run code 3 through town, since he was out of his jurisdiction (which is essentially confined to railroad property in most cases), and he was driving too reckless given the amount of traffic on the road.

    Here's one story on that:
    http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dw...r.2db13f2.html

    I never heard whether the charges stuck or not.

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