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Deputy Hit While Pushing Wife Out Of Path Of Speeding Truck Awakes From Coma After 23 Days

Knoxville, TN – The Anderson County sheriff’s deputy who suffered severe injuries while pushing his deputy wife out of the path of a speeding pickup truck has awakened after nearly one month in a coma, according to his family.

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) Deputy Lucas Shoffner has remained hospitalized since the night of Aug. 1, when 31-year-old off-duty Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Raymond Surber crashed into him and his wife as they were trying to fix a motorcycle on the side of a residential roadway, WVLT reported.

The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) announced in a Facebook post that on Aug. 25, Deputy Shoffner awoke from his coma.

“How about we jump start your Saturday morning off with some great news?” the LCSO’s Aug. 27 post read. “Two days ago Luke awoke from his coma after being in critical condition and on a ventilator for over three weeks! “

“Luke still has a long road to recovery from his traumatic brain injury, but has been accepted into the world-renowned, and leader in TBI rehabilitation, The Shepard Center in Atlanta,” the sheriff’s office said.

Deputy Lucas Shoffner is expected to be transferred to the rehabilitation center in the near future to continue his recovery.

“From all of us at LCSO, we are so excited and thankful to see this progress and will be cheering his recovery on every step of the way!” the LCSO said.

ACSO Deputy Lucas Shoffner and his wife, ACSO Deputy Nicole Shoffner, were both off-duty the night of Aug. 1 when they stopped on Clover Circle to fix the chain that had slipped off of their miniature motorbike, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP).

The deputies then saw the headlights of a quickly-approaching pickup truck, WATE reported.

Deputy Nicole Shoffner said her husband pushed her “to a point of safety” just before the vehicle slammed into them both.

Deputy Lucas Shoffner took the brunt of the hit from the vehicle.

“I woke up in the grass – I remember having grass in my mouth and my left shoe was off,” Deputy Nicole Shoffner told WATE. “After that, I saw Lucas in the road, face-down.”

She said she ran to her injured husband and began doing a sternum rub.

“He had blood coming out of his nose and his mouth,” she recalled. “I was just trying to talk to him, trying to keep him with me.”

Police arrived at the scene and both injured deputies were rushed to nearby hospitals, WATE reported.

Deputy Nicole Shoffner was transported to Fort Sanders for x-rays and a head CT, while her husband was rushed to University of Tennessee Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

She was able to see him the following night, WATE reported.

“He was on a lot of medicine but Tuesday night I did get to tell him that I loved him, and he told me that he loved me back,” Deputy Nicole Shoffner said at the time.

She suffered road rash and a small hip fracture in the crash and was struggling to walk without assistance, WLVT reported.

Deputy Lucas Shoffner was diagnosed with a fractured skull, brain bleed, a blood clot in the main artery of his neck, and multiple facial fractures, according to a fundraising campaign established to help the deputies during their recoveries.

Donors have contributed more than $94,000 to the fund so far.

“Please pray for Lucas. He is an incredible young man who has devoted his entire career to serving his country and community,” the ACSO said in a Facebook post on Aug. 9. “You don’t find them much better than Lucas. Pray for healing. Pray for Nicole. Pray that she will continue to stay strong during this incredibly tough time.”

The couple’s attorney, Greg Isaacs, said the pickup truck Deputy Surber was allegedly driving “left skid marks in the range of 20 to 25 feet,” according to WATE.

“Again, this is a residential roadway with a 15-mile-per-hour speed limit,” Isaacs added.

The THP is handling the ongoing investigation into the crash, WVLT reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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