California Highway Patrol Officer David Madrigal broke his pelvis in six places and punctured a lung in the on-duty crash last week.
Madrigal, who also broke two ribs and his clavicle on his left side, injured his bladder, bruised a kidney and tore an artery, has undergone at least three surgeries since Thursday's accident, CHP Lt. Todd Garr reported.
"He is a fighter and has overcome challenges like this before," Garr said of the 22-year law enforcement veteran.
Madrigal was also injured during a shootout between law enforcement and James Long in Proberta in 2008. Long was killed.
Madrigal was hit in the right leg, and following surgery and a lengthy recovery, he returned to duty. He was presented the Purple Heart by then Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker in 2009.
Garr expressed his appreciation to everyone who has sent their support and well wishes to Madrigal and his family since the accident.
Madrigal, 45, was southbound on Highway 99E near Eldrid Avenue in Dairyville around 6:40 p.m. when he received a call to assist the Tehama County Sheriff's Department in the pursuit of a stolen vehicle.
With emergency lights engaged, Madrigal pulled to the shoulder of the highway and was in the process of making a U-turn when he was struck broadside by a southbound 1994 Jeep Cherokee driven by Sean Stutsman, 22, of Chico, the CHP reported.
The patrol vehicle came to rest near a power pole, facing east on the northbound shoulder.
Madrigal remained conscious and advised CHP dispatch of the collision and his need for assistance.
Emergency personnel and law enforcement agencies arrived on scene and assisted in extricating the injured officer from the 2005 Ford Crown Victoria.
"The first to arrive on scene were deputies from the Tehama County Sheriff's Office. From what I understand, they literally tore the patrol car apart in an effort to get my officer out," Garr said. "Because of the efforts of the deputies and other emergency personnel on scene, they were able to get Dave to Mercy very, very quickly."
Garr said doctors told him the quick response and transportation of Madrigal was critical to saving his life.
"I am forever grateful to the people on scene who got him out of that car," Garr said.
Madrigal was airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Redding.
Stutsman and a passenger in the Jeep did not appear to have suffered any serious injury and indicated they would seek their own medical care if needed, CHP Sgt. Jeff Ross reported.
The CHP Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team out of the Northern Division Redding Office is investigating the crash.
Madrigal has worked out of the CHP Red Bluff office for more than six years.
Copyright 2013 - Corning Observer, Calif.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service