Richland Deputy Recovering After Fiery Crash

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- AN accident nearly took the life of a Richland County Deputy on a rainy day this past fall.

Deputy Bob Furgal's car left the road and burst into flames while he was responding to a call, and he's been recovering ever since.

"It was pretty bad. I was lucky to get out of it alive," Furgal said. "I was told I was going to that call. I don't remember being dispatched. I don't remember losing control. I don't remember any of it."

His details of the accident are foggy, but on November 2nd, deputies got a call about a burglary in progress at a convenience store in Southeast Richland County.

Furgal was dispatched to assist in that call, but instead, his car hydroplaned, and he ran off the road and hit a tree. His last memory of the moments after being ripped from the vehicle with the Jaws of Life is seeing the face of his fiance.

'We were fortunate she was able to take the ride with me in the ambulance," Furgal said. "The last thing I remember is her getting into the front of the (ambulance), and then they put some pain medicine in me, and I was out of it again."

Furgal suffered burns to his legs, including 3rd degree burns to his feet, after the vehicle ignited.

"All my toes were amputated. They couldn't manage to save my toes, and I had a fractured pelvis in four areas," Furgal said.

Furgal has not been back to work since the accident, which is something Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is expecting when he's ready.

"His injuries are such that he could get full-disability, sit at home and collect a paycheck. Bob's not like that," Lott said.

Furgal said he is expecting to be back at 100 percent sometime within the next year.

Lott said Friday that after Furgal gets special shoes that he will need to walk, he will be back to his regular duties.

"I don't want to let this beat me," said Furgal. "I feel like I'm better than what happened and I can overcome it.'


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