Captain Neth (left) and Sgt. Wendler. | Courtesy Idaho State Police
IDAHO FALLS — A trooper critically injured during an accident at the beginning of September is making remarkable progress, according to Idaho State Police.
ISP Sgt. Mike Wendler responded to a vehicle fire at 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 8 on westbound Interstate 84 in Jerome County. He was hit by a passing car while directing traffic. He was critically injured and airlifted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center and has remained there ever since.
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Idaho State Police wrote on Facebook over the weekend, “He was recently moved out of ICU and can walk short distances. He has loving support from his family and members of the Idaho State Police.”
A GoFundMe page created by an ISP trooper for Wendler had a $50,000 goal to help raise money for medical expenses. It has surpassed that goal by raising over $54,000.
On Monday, the page shared an update that said Wendler is dealing with a traumatic brain injury and has experienced moments of joy, anger, frustration, confusion, laughter and love.
“During the past two nights, Mike puts on his trooper hat and does ‘patrol walks’ with the nurses. Mike will have periods of confusion if there is a great deal of noise or action around him. He does find comfort from the familiar things in his room and they help him to remember his world before this life-changing incident,” the page said.
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Recovery will take time but Wendler is improving.
“As an agency, the Idaho State Police is overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support we have received on behalf of Sgt. Wendler and his family,” ISP wrote in a Facebook post. “And thank you to all the people across our state who have truly demonstrated the Idaho way of taking care of each other. We are proud to be a part of our great state.”
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