ORANGE PARK, Fla. – A motorcycle deputy with the Clay County Sheriff's Office was injured in a crash Monday afternoon on Kingsley Avenue, near Orange Park Medical Center, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Deputy Ron Jankowski, who was on his way to another traffic accident involving another motorcycle about 4:15 p.m., was seriously injured when his motorcycle was hit by an SUV, according to troopers.
"We ask for the communities' thoughts and prayers to be with him and his family," the Sheriff's Office tweeted.
According to the Highway Patrol, a Nissan Rogue was traveling west in the outside lane of Kingsley Avenue about 4:15 p.m. when the driver incorrectly changed lanes. Troopers said the SUV hit with Jankowski's motorcycle, who was traveling in the inside lane.
The 57-year-old deputy (pictured, right) who has been with the Sheriff's Office for 15 years was taken to the hospital with serious, non-life-threatening injuries, troopers said.
He has a long road ahead but did show signs of improvement, the sheriff's office said on Wednesday.
The driver of the Nissan, Lowell Jackson, 77, of Jacksonville, was not injured, according to the accident report.
Charges are pending, according to the Highway Patrol.
Ryan Kuchinka said he heard the crash while he was working at a nearby diner and witnesses immediately rushed to help.
"I could see people running across the parking lot to go make sure that he was OK," Kuchinka said. "He was trying to get up, but everybody was making sure he waited for medical help to come."
On Monday night, the Sheriff's Office thanked the community for its "outpouring of love during this difficult time."