Clark County sheriff’s Deputy Drew Kennison returned home Wednesday after being released from a Portland rehabilitation facility.
The deputy’s co-workers and friends met him as he left the facility shortly before noon, and a small convoy escorted him home. Deputies and other first responders were stationed on Interstate 5 overpasses in Vancouver and Ridgefield as Kennison passed by, Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Skidmore said.
Kennison, who had to have his left leg amputated above the knee, was injured Feb. 22 when his SUV was crushed by a snow-laden tree in Skamania County.
“Thank you again to everyone who reached out in any way to support Drew and his family over the last two weeks,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook. “Drew, rest easy, take your time, and we will see you back out there soon enough.”
Kennison has been with the agency for 14 years.
The crash was reported at 10:14 a.m. on Washougal River Road near Salmon Falls Road. Investigators said they believe heavy snow broke off the upper portion of the large tree, which fell onto Kennison’s vehicle where the windshield meets the hood. The vehicle then came to a stop against another tree, according to the sheriff’s office.
Kennison was in Skamania County driving back from a SWAT team training, the sheriff’s office said. Several other officers on the team were traveling with him and quickly provided first aid. They applied tourniquets to his arm and leg, which the agency said saved his life.
A public works truck was in the area and removed the tree from across the vehicle before medics and fire personnel arrived. It took rescuers 40 minutes to reach the crash site because of the winter weather conditions, the sheriff’s office said.
Once heavy rescue crews arrived, they extricated Kennison from the vehicle. He was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, where he was stabilized before he was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, where he underwent surgery, the sheriff’s office said.
The deputy sheriff’s guild has set up a donation page for Kennison and his family at https://unionly.io/o/ccdsg/donations-for-drew.