It’s a story of inspiration and determination. A Wisconsin State Trooper who lost a leg after being hit by an out of control car is back on full duty, two years after the accident.
It’s taken Wisconsin State Trooper Justin Hansen about two years to get back on patrol duty. In January of 2014, after responding to a crash on 41 near Neenah, he was hit by another motorist and pinned against his squad. The accident left one of his legs severely broken, the other needed to be amputated.
Just three months after the crash, Hansen said, “I’ve certainly struggled adapting to my injuries and I remain optimistic.”
That optimism along with a prosthetic and help from doctors and therapists enabled Trooper Hansen return to his passion.
He says, “I met a lot of encouraging folks who are also amputees, along the way. And had a lot of support from family, friends, co-workers, the whole State Patrol has been great.”
While Trooper Hansen is the only amputee on the force, he isn’t the first. Knowing that someone else did the job with a prosthetic helped to give him the confidence to get back on the road.
According to Hansen, “He was a great inspiration for me to know that someone else is doing what I’ve wanted to do and there was hope out there.”
Watching the State Patrol mourn the loss of Trooper Trevor Casper, killed by a bank robber last year, was also inspiration for Hansen. The loss of loss of a brother in blue motivated him to work that much harder to return to the job.
“I only met him a few times, but I could tell he had the same kind of passion that I did for this career,” says Hansen about Trooper Casper. “But, I felt I could honor him by pushing myself as hard as I could and getting myself back on the road.”
As the only trooper assigned to Calumet County, Hansen is responsible for patrolling county roads and not a busy I-41. It’s just extra peace of mind as he continues to overcome not only the physical but mental reminders of what happened to him.