A CCSO deputy returns to work six months after the accident

A CCSO deputy returns to work six months after the accident

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (KGUN) – On September 28, 2023, Cochise County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Olitski was involved in a near-fatal accident in the line of duty.

“I’m not Chris Olitski anymore,” he said. “I could not have a cognitive thought in my body. I could not recognize human existence.”

Olitski fell 17 feet into a ravine after pulling a spike that put him in the middle of State Route 80. He was helping stop a car from fleeing police after they tried to stop the car twice.

“If I see a car going triple digits and driving recklessly… I will do everything I can to protect our citizens here within Cochise County,” Olitsky said.

When he fell, he broke several bones in his body, but he says at the time he was only aware that his pelvis was broken because he couldn’t move, and his left femur was broken because of the pain. Olitsky lost consciousness while medical teams rescued him from the valley and remained unconscious while being transported to the hospital. The deputy spent two weeks in Banner suffering from multiple broken bones and brain injuries that affected his speech and ability to move.

“When you hear third-party viewpoints, experts in their fields say it’s not supposed to be this way. Like holy cow this is a miracle. It takes a lot of processing,” Olitsky said.

He spent a total of four weeks in Tucson before returning to Sierra Vista to continue physical therapy and recovery.

“Today is no longer a fighting day, but I accept where I am today compared to where I was about six months ago,” Olitsky said.

He said doctors didn’t think he would be able to move, let alone return to work, but that didn’t stop him.

“I knew I wasn’t going to fail because that was my mentality and that’s how I lived my whole life. My mentality is what kept me coming back,” Olitski said.

He wanted to return to duty to fulfill the oath he took as a deputy and as a Marine Corps veteran. Oletski is one of a few CCSO deputies on the Criminal Interdiction Team that focuses on human, drug and money smuggling within the county.

“We have a problem on the southern border that is tearing my soul apart,” he said, “but that does not mean that my passion for this country or my passion for protecting our citizens dies because we have a problem.”

Olitski says he wants to wear his badge again to continue protecting Cochise County residents from gangs and their plans to smuggle drugs and people into the area.

“I knew I was going to come back to be a peace officer because I believe in the safety of our citizens and I believe in the safety of illegal aliens, immigrants coming across the border because they are being exploited just like a lot of people are.” “Our citizens are being exploited,” Olitsky said.

He is currently assigned to light duty but is working to rebuild his strength and mobility so he can return to full duty. Although he is not patrolling as much as he used to, he warns people thinking of smuggling in the province to think twice.

“I will say if you come to Cochise County and participate (in smuggling), I beg you not to do it, but if you do, you will go to prison.”

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Alexis Ramangolo She is a Cochise County reporter for KGUN 9. She began her reporting career for the Herald/Review in Sierra Vista, which she also calls home. Share your story ideas with Alexis via email alexis.ramanjulu@kgun9.com Or by communicating on Facebook.

    (Tags for translation)Cochise County

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