A Solano County Sheriff’s deputy is recovering from serious injuries he sustained in a crash during a pursuit for a stolen vehicle on New Year’s Day.
Ricky Mroz, 22, hit a light pole near Chadborne and Pennsylvania in Fairfield while attempting to round a corner at a high rate of speed.
“They slowed down to 80 miles per hour. I tried to turn. They obviously didn’t make it, and I tried to turn after them, and neither did I. They missed everything. I hit the pole,” Mroz said.
The suspects fled on foot, and were later captured in a nearby marsh.
Mroz was pinned in his crushed patrol car.
“I felt the bone spikes on the lower half of my leg. The dash cut completely through, uh, my bones. So I broke both legs and my hip,” Mroz said.
FOX40 caught up with Deputy Mroz on the first day he was able to get around without using a walker.
“I don’t miss it at all. I hate the walker. Going from being able to do stuff and then not being able to do stuff, so suddenly, it’s hard to deal with,” Mroz said.
At the time of the crash, Mroz had only been working with the Solano County Sheriff’s Office for seven months.
“My dad was a marine and for whatever reason, keeping people safe was instilled in me,” Mroz said.
Mroz said his body went into shock after he crashed so he could not feel his injuries. The only thing that scared him was the thought of burning alive.
“The engine fire started, which was really the only part that I was not cool with. That’s the last way I want to go. Burning,” Mroz said.
Mroz’s cover unit quickly put the fire out. He was then cut out of his patrol car.
“I was there that day, right after the crash. To be alive, it truly is a miracle. That car was demolished,” Deputy Sheriff Daryl Snedeker said.
Deputy Snedeker saw Mroz through three months of recovery. He says he kept a positive attitude the entire time.
“He was pretty broke the first time I saw him. But in talking to him, from the waist up, you couldn’t tell. His attitude was great,” Snedeker said.
“I mean, I have some pretty bad injuries, but I have all of my limbs. And I’m not dead,” Mroz said “So, I can’t really complain too much.”
The only complaint Mroz had was spending several weeks without being able to stand up and take a shower on his own.
“It’s the little things. It is. Sponge baths. They don’t do the trick,” Mroz said.
Deputy Mroz is expected to return to work on light duty within a few weeks. His full recovery will take much longer.
“He’s not the kind of kid to sit around at home, you know. We’re cops. We work. That’s what we do,” Snedeker said.