Clackamas Co. deputy back at work one year after near-fatal cras - KPTV - FOX 12

Clackamas Co. deputy back at work one year after near-fatal crash

Posted: Updated: May 05, 2016 10:03 PM
Clackamas County Deputy Robert Nashif Clackamas County Deputy Robert Nashif
Crash scene in 2015 that seriously injured Clackamas County Deputy Robert Nashif (KPTV file image) Crash scene in 2015 that seriously injured Clackamas County Deputy Robert Nashif (KPTV file image)

While many people are hitting the town to celebrate Cinco De Mayo, Clackamas County Deputy Robby Nashif is celebrating simply being alive.

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of the crash that almost took his life. Nashif was on patrol in Oregon City, on his motorcycle, when a teenager in an SUV took a corner too fast and Nashif was right in his path.
“I realized, he’s going too fast. He’s not going to make it. He’s going to hit me and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
In a split second, Nashif was thrown from his motorcycle and into a ditch with a shattered, nearly severed left leg. Nashif managed to stay conscious and he remembers everything.
“I was alone,” said Nashif. “My radio wouldn’t work because it was gone. I had a shoulder mic, but the radio was gone. My tourniquet was gone so I felt absolutely helpless.”
Neighbors came to his aid until a Life Flight helicopter rushed him to Oregon Health & Science University.

Nashif feared he might lose his leg, but doctors managed to save it. After seven surgeries and relentless physical therapy, Nashif has made that leg stronger in record time.

Despite daily, chronic pain and a slight limp, Nashif gets a competitive spark in his eye describing his workouts.
“I’ll work out before – get in some cardio and weight lifting. Then I’ll go in and do physical therapy which is usually another hour and a half. So I’ve been watching the clock recently and I’ve been there for three, three and a half hours at times," he said. 
Nashif recently went back to the crash scene for the first time and he finally met the off-duty paramedic who helped him that day. In a video shot by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Nashif shakes hands with Adam Carwell and thanks him again and again.
Nashif said, “All I heard was your voice which was huge that day.”
“I hope it helped,” replied Carwell.
“Well, you helped save my life.”
Nashif was also recently awarded the Purple Heart. He’s back at work part-time helping detectives, but watching him check emails inside of a sterile cubicle, it’s obvious he isn’t long for that duty.

Nashif’s main goal is to be back on the bike, working traffic again. After a few rides on his own motorcycle, he knows it’s where he belongs.
“It feels good. It feels like a step in the right direction. I feel like I’m free, like I’m getting part of myself back, which is nice.”
Nashif is trying to be patient with his leg and his urge to be back in the field. But when he is – hopefully by September – he says he’ll have a new and better perspective.
“Take time to listen to people a little bit more. Not that I didn’t before, but just a little bit more. Slow down and maybe appreciate things better," he said.

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