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Virginia Deputy Thankful for Rescue by Officer

A Northampton County, Va. deputy who was seriously injured in the line of duty two weeks ago is at home now and recovering thanks to the efforts of an off-duty police officer.

Deputy Michael Sledge was responding to an emergency call on March 20 when he collided with a tractor-trailer and was rendered unconscious, according to The Daily Herald.

The deputy's cruiser burst into flames upon impact and he was left trapped with a broken left hip and right knee.

Fortunately, off-duty Emporia Police Officer Jerome Parker spotted the wreck on I-95 and pulled Sledge from the vehicle. The officer said he was afraid the deputy was dead after seeing the cruiser wedged under the massive truck.

"I was thinking, 'Lord, please! Please! Please!' " he told the newspaper. "It could have been fatal."

Parker made calls from Sledge's radio for help and jumped into action after noticed the fire coming from under the hood.

Sledge returned home last week from Vidant Medical Center and hadn't had the opportunity to talk to Parker directly yet, but he plans to personally thank him soon.

"I was blessed," the 22-year-old deputy said. "Because looking back at the crash -- it was bad."