A Perry County Sheriff's Deputy is fighting for his life tonight at U.K. Hospital.
Officer Daniel Fugate was off-duty and on his motorcycle when he collided with an SUV this afternoon on Combs Road in Airport Gardens.
Several deputies at the scene were very shaken up after the accident and said they are now praying that their "brother" survives. Perry County Sheriff's Deputies say they did not expect to be sent out on such a call.
"Units had contacted me and said I needed to get down there as soon as possible, that one of our own was injured in the accident," said Chief Deputy Tony Eversole.
Kentucky State Police officials said Fugate was traveling southbound on Combs Road on his Honda motorcycle when 67-year-old Melvin Smith pulled out in front of him in a Chevy Avalanche. Police said Smith underestimated the amount of time he had to pull out of the Circle T restaurant.
Police said Smith was not injured but Deputy Fugate was flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Fugate was not on-duty at the time of the crash.
People who work with him say it is hard to see something like that happen to one of their own.
"We are a close bunch, we are close knit, I mean we work short handed and we all work a lot of hours," said Eversole.
"We are with each other probably more than we are with our families and something like that just really tears you up."
The sheriff, chief deputy and other deputies headed to Lexington and said they wanted to be there for Fugate and his family.
"It is just important to let him to know that he is one of us, that he is family and we want to let his family know that we are there for them to offer any kind of support that we can do," said Eversole.
Eversole said they are hoping Fugate pulls through and everyone is thinking about him.
"There are so few of us and when something like this takes one of us out I mean it just affects the whole department," Eversole said.
Officials said they do not expect charges to be filed.
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