Posted: Jul 12, 2010 8:13 PM by Ariel Wesler
Updated: Jul 12, 2010 8:52 PM
A police officer is recovering tonight after he crashed his patrol car into a tree while trying to help catch a burglary suspect in Santa Maria. It happened on north Broadway just before 4:30 Sunday morning.
"It's clear that he shouldn't have survived and he did," said Santa Maria Police Chief Dan Macagni.
It's hard to believe 34-year old Damon Badenell was alive when paramedics pulled him from the wreckage. He was driving northbound on Broadway and had just crossed Main when his car spun out, hit the center median and slammed into a tree.
"This is one of those things that's difficult for the employees and the officers that were on shift with him and the officer he was rolling to back up," Macagni said.
Investigators don't know the exact cause of the crash, but they say mother nature is partly to blame. The roads were slick from a recent rainstorm. Badenell was rushed to Cottage Hospital in Santa Babara with a head injury and multiple broken bones.
"He's got to go through some therapy and some rehabilitation to get some things working properly and then he'll be back. He's in good physical shape and he's determined," Macagni said.
Officer Badenell has only been with the Santa Maria police department for the last two years, but in that time, his coworkers say he's made a name for himself by working hard to make the streets safer.
"He just won the Mothers Against Drunk Driving award this year for the most drunk driving arrests of any police officer at the Santa Maria Police Department," Macagni said.
A department that continues to support him while being reminded of the daily dangers they all face at every turn.
Badenell is expected to remain in the hospital for the rest of the week. He has been upgraded from serious to fair condition. The California Highway Patrol is leading the investigation.
PLEASE HELP US MODERATE COMMENTS
Offensive or inappropriate comments are subject to removal. To report a comment, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and include the name of the story and information on the comment.
Thank you! KSBY.com
Get deals up to 80% off here!
Find the lowest gas prices in your area
Submit your photos to KSBY
Check out our calendar of events
Watch Daybreak Web Videos in full
Save with Hot Deals across our counties!
Events across the Central Coast
Follow The CW5 on Facebook.
The KSBY online public file.
What do you think? Leave us your feedback.
KSBY is your official CA Lottery station for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties