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Sandy Grinnell, Staff Contributor
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Collier County Deputy Survives Death Three Times

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After almost being killed by a speeding vehicle back in December, 2006, former deputy Bill Pschigoda has returned to work at the Collier County Sheriff’s office he dearly loves.

Pschigoda was peforming his duty as a deputy laying stop sticks in the street trying to slow a criminal speeding away from other deputies in hot pursuit. Trying to avoid the stop sticks, the speeding vehicle veered off the road and struck Pshigoda going about 80 miles an hour. Jokingly, he now says he was “imitating a bug on a windshield.”

However, the severity of his injuries were no laughing matter as he had extensive head injuries and a nerve was severed in his neck. He was immediately treated at the scene by emergency personnel who were on hand to stop traffic. It was that immediate medical attention and the airlift to the hospital that has been attributed to saving Pshigoda’s life and his recovery has been a long and arduous one.

Initially Pshigoda was told he would never work again as a deputy, but that resulted in an even greater determination to complete his rehabilitation.

And this has not been his only brush with death. As a teenager Pshigoda almost drowned in a diving accident. Then when he was a firefighter another fireman had to pull him from a burning building after he passed out.

While Pshigoda has not been allowed to put on a deputies uniform as of yet, he has excelled in the Sherriff’s office rehabilitation training and is doing ride-alongs with his fellow officers. According to Sheriff Don Hunter, “We wanted him to be able to roll right back in to his regular duties. We certainly wanted to send a message to the bad guys on the street that you can knock us down, but you can’t keep us down.”