Omaha, NE – Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Wintle died from flu complications on Thursday.
Deputy Wintle, 51, was rushed to a local hospital after he began having difficulty breathing, KETV reported.
He later succumbed to complications caused by the illness.
Deputy Wintle served the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) for 29 years, following in the footsteps of his father, former Douglas County Chief Deputy Jim Wintle, WOWT reported.
During his time with the department, Deputy Wintle served in patrol, criminal investigations, and court divisions, and spent the past 13 years working as a K9 officer, KETV reported.
He also served as a 911 dispatcher prior to his law enforcement career.
“Deputy Wintle…served with distinction, earning several unit citations and commendations during his career as a deputy sheriff,” the DCSO told WOWT in a statement.
Deputy Wintle made headlines in 2012, after he and his then-partner, K9 Kubo, were struck by a vehicle during a traffic stop, KETV reported.
He was standing along Interstate 80 with a motorist he’d pulled over, when another driver crashed into the back of his patrol car.
The cruiser then collided with Deputy Wintle, and threw him up onto the windshield.
The veteran deputy tumbled off of the car and hit the ground, suffering serious injuries to his knee.
K9 Kubo was not injured in the collision.
“It could have gone 100 different ways – none of them being good,” Deputy Wintle told KETV at the time.
After several surgeries, he went back to full duty, serving his community.
Deputy Wintle leaves behind his wife and four children, as well as his partner, K9 Chet, WOWT reported.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Dave Wintle, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.