CHP officer hit by suspected DUI driver returns home after monthslong recovery

Local News
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YUBA CITY, Calif. (KTXL) -- After about four months recovering in the hospital, a California Highway Patrol officer who was hit by a suspected drunken driver in October was finally back home Friday night.

CHP Officer David Gordon refused to be wheeled out of UC Davis Medical Center. With his brothers in tan cheering him on, he walked with a cane all the way down the hospital entrance to a waiting limo.

“The will in that man to recover and the support of the squad and the department and the community and his family is just phenomenal,” said CHP Capt. Julie Harding, commander of the Yuba-Sutter division.

Harding went to high school with Officer Gordon and said he is one of the hardest working employees at her station.

“We call him 'beyond license plate,'” Capt. Harding told FOX40. “He’s one of those that just doesn’t go out and write tickets and does his time and goes home. He actually fulfills the full service of the Highway Patrol and law enforcement.”

That’s why last October it was so hard to hear he had been hit by a suspected drunken driver. It was the middle of the night and Gordon and his partner were trying to direct traffic around a malfunctioning railroad crossing arm in Yuba City.

The same night of the accident, Gordon’s partner arrested 21-year-old Lucas Nelson, who tried to run away after the accident, according to the CHP. He has been charged with resisting arrest and DUI with great bodily injury and is due back in court in five days.

“It’s a tragic situation and bad decisions were made,” Harding said.

Officer Gordon had multiple pelvis fractures, a broken jaw and a broken shoulder blade.

His wife, Tina, and two boys, Dylan and Kyle, anxiously waited as he underwent surgery and recovered in the hospital for months.

“It was really touch and go there for a little bit,” Harding explained.

“We really never knew when Dave would get to come home,” said Cynthia Rachel, with nonprofit Back the Badge.

But just days after the accident, Back the Badge started fundraising for Gordon and his family.

“That raised tens of thousands of dollars to support them in retrofitting the home and getting ready,” Rachel told FOX40.

Once out of the hospital, a donated limo brought Officer Gordon back to his Yuba City neighborhood where dozens lined the streets to welcome him back home.

“We’re so fortunate to have such a wonderful, close-knit community blending with our blue family. It’s really a beautiful thing that’s happening,” said Back the Badge President Stacy Runyen.

“He’s one step closer to coming back and wearing this uniform once again,” Harding said.

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