POWHATAN COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A former security officer in Chesterfield County who lost both of his legs in a distracted-driving crash nearly six years ago is making his way back into law enforcement.
Brad Hughes is now a proud deputy with the Powhatan County Sheriff’s Office.
“I once stood at 6-foot-3, and the way I am right now, I’m 4-foot-6,” the double-amputee told 8News.
Once a security officer for 16 years, Hughes’ days patrolling came to an abrupt end after a horrific crash on March 17, 2014. Hughes was responding to a 17-car pileup on an icy Midlothian Turnpike when a distracted driver lost control of his pick-up truck and slammed into Hughes, pinning him between two vehicles.
“I had to be resuscitated three times, my heart stopped three times,” Hughes said. “On scene, my right leg was sheared completely off and I lost 10 pints of blood.”
Now, Hughes is using his second stint in law enforcement to get back to what he loved doing — helping people. He’s in charge of community engagement in Powhatan County, which includes presenting new safety ideas, giving presentations about the move over law and distracted driving and teaching students their rights during traffic stops.
“I’m a fighter, I was born a fighter, I’ve been a survivor ever since, and a lot of people call me superman,” Hughes explained.
Learning to walk again, ride his motorcycle again, and now back to protecting and serving.
“This is the best thing about life,” Hughes said. “You just don’t let it get you down.”
Two more weeks will mark six years since that life-altering crash, but Hughes says for him it’s not traumatic — it’s more liberating that he’s still alive. On top of being a new deputy, Hughes is also writing a book to share his story.