Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sheriff’s sergeant injured at MASSV

Officer suffers broken neck during Ketchum street party


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

A Blaine County sheriff's sergeant was recovering Tuesday at a Boise hospital after suffering a broken neck when another man fell on him from a building roof during a street party early Sunday morning in downtown Ketchum.

Sheriff Gene Ramsey said Sgt. Corey Weatherly, 43, underwent surgery Sunday at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, where Weatherly was flown by plane following the accident at about 1:45 a.m. Ramsey said Weatherly was in "guarded condition."

"The doctor thought they'd have him up and walking later today," Ramsey said Monday. "He was in surgery for two and a half to four hours. He was experiencing a lot of pain and had numbness in his fingers."

Weatherly, who Ramsey said was off-duty working private security for the street party that was part of the MASSV weekend music festival, was injured when a man fell from the roof of a store front on Main Street immediately south of the former Roosevelt Grill building on the corner of Main Street and Sun Valley Road.

Ketchum Police Chief Steve Harkins identified the man who fell on Weatherly as 20-year-old Austin B. Cruz of Hailey. Cruz was transported to St. Luke's Wood River where he was treated and released later Sunday. Ramsey said Cruz suffered bruises and broken facial bones.

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In a news release, Harkins wrote that Weatherly was standing next to another security officer on the sidewalk in front of the building when Cruz fell on him. Harkins wrote that the incident remains under investigation and that "drugs and alcohol are suspected to be a factor of why Cruz fell from the roof."

Ramsey said Cruz and other people gained access to the roof from a ladder in the back and that it was unknown why Cruz fell from the building.

"Who expects someone to fall out the sky, pushed, jumped or who knows?" Ramsey asked.

Weatherly also serves as a detective for the Sheriff's Office and is a member of the Blaine County Narcotics Enforcement Team headed by Harkins.

Brent Russell, primary organizer of the MASSV event, described Weatherly as a "shining example of a public servant and a top-notch person."

"We hope for a speedy recovery," Russell said. "Our thoughts are with him and his family."

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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