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Update: Washington County deputy suffers massive head injuries, broken neck in off-duty wreck

June 5th, 2013 5:58 pm by Becky Campbell

Update: Washington County deputy suffers massive head injuries, broken neck in off-duty wreck

Sgt. Dave Chambers (Contributed)


An off-duty Washington County sheriff’s deputy was critically injured in a two-vehicle wreck on Highway 11E in Jonesborough Wednesday morning and remained in an induced coma while being treated, officials said.


Sgt. Dave Chambers, 44, of Jonesborough, suffered “massive head injuries” in the crash, which happened around 11 a.m. in front of Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home.


“He is in critical condition (has) massive head injuries and his neck is broken,” said Leighta Laitinen, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.


According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Chambers was in a 1988 Jeep Wrangler making a cross-over turn on Highway 11E near the funeral home so he could head north back toward Johnson City. Chambers apparently pulled into the path of a  1989 Chevrolet pickup driven by Michael Bauer, 60, of Limestone.


Bauer hit Chambers' Jeep in the passenger's side, according to THP Sgt. Diane Mays.


Chambers’ teenage son was with him, and according to early reports was in stable condition.


Bauer was also injured, but there were no details about the extent of his injuries. According to the THP, Dave Chambers was not wearing at seatbelt at the time of the crash, but his son and Bauer were. 


All three were transported by Washington County/Johnson City EMS to the JohnsonCity Medical Center.


“Dave is strong, physically and mentally. If anyone can survive this, he will,” Laitinen said.


Chambers started at the sheriff's office in 1992 after serving four years in the U.S. Army. He started as a detention officer, then was promoted to become a deputy in the support services division and later to the patrol division. He was assigned to the DEA Task Force in 2003, was promoted to patrol sergeant in June 2007 and also serves on the SWAT team.


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