Augusta Deputy Sustains Injuries After Crash, Cause Unknown - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Augusta Deputy Sustains Major Injuries After Crash, Cause Unknown

Posted: Updated: Jan 7, 2013 05:05 PM EST

An Augusta County deputy needs two surgeries and months of rehab after slamming his cruiser into a tree. The sheriff says it appears that Deputy Joseph Sholes was following all protocols at the time of the crash.

Sholes suffered two broken legs and a shattered ankle when he totaled his sheriff's department cruiser just before midnight Friday. He was wearing a seat belt, but did have to be flown to the UVA Medical Center for his injuries.

Sholes was running lights and siren as he responded to an emergency call for a fight, involving 6 people in Fishersville. At the time of the crash, he was headed south on Route 340 near Crimora, when he ran off the road and hit several trees. The car has a blown right-rear tire, but investigators don't know whether that played a role in the accident.

"One witness said that they saw the police car fish-tailing, just before the crash. So we don't know if something broke, tire went flat, blew out... I mean, we just don't know," said Sheriff Randy Fisher of Augusta County.

Sholes has worked with the Augusta Sheriff's Office for about five years and comes from a law-enforcement family. He has two uncles in the same department, his wife is a county dispatcher, and his grandfather is a retired state police sergeant. 

State police are investigating, but have not yet released any of their findings. Fisher says the car's "black box" may help determine what happened in the seconds leading up to the crash.

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