Sheriff's deputy paralyzed in traffic accident on his way to work

Posted at 6:39 PM, Oct 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-05 21:39:38-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Family members of a longtime San Diego County sheriff's deputy are asking for help after he was paralyzed in a recent crash.

Deputy Rudy Sanchez Sr., a 22-year veteran of the department, was involved in an accident on his way to work at the downtown San Diego County Courthouse on Sept. 26.

"Not quite sure how it happened," said his son, Rudy Sanchez, Jr. who is also a deputy.

Sanchez Jr. said his father is paralyzed from the chest down. He was taken off the ventilator this weekend and is now able to speak again.

"It was really rough. I was at work when I got the call from my mom," said Sanchez Jr., who worked with his father at the courthouse.

Following the accident, their fellow deputies started stepping up to help the family.

"I think it's great. The support I'm getting is off the charts. I love it," said Sanchez Jr.

One of their deputy friends started a GoFundMe page to raise money to retrofit Sanchez’s house to accommodate his wheelchair. They had more than $12,300 as of Wednesday afternoon.

"It makes it him feel better knowing that people actually care," said Sanchez Jr.

Sanchez Jr. got a surprise Wednesday when he found out a private contractor will take care of the retrofit for free.

"Property Renovations -- they said they're going to take care of this for us. They're going to retrofit the house to make it workable for my dad," Sanchez Jr. said.

That means the Sanchez family can put the money towards Sanchez Sr.'s medical bills or his retirement, which wasn't far off.

"His whole plan was to actually enjoy his retirement and go out traveling," said his son.

Sanchez Sr. recently purchased a travel trailer and was going to drive around the country with his wife.

"He was more worried about driving. He wanted to make sure he could drive," said Sanchez Jr. "I mean, you tell him he can’t do it and he'll find a way to do it."