Footage from the county deputies’ body cameras show firefighters and law enforcement officers around the crashed, heavily damaged squad car, which came to rest in a ditch on the Mississippi River side of the roadway.
Some talk to Engle encouraging him. Others brace the vehicle with blocks of wood, then pry the driver’s side door open to get the chief out of the squad. They then carry him up the ditch’s slope, place him on a gurney and wheel him to a waiting ambulance. Once he is inside, the ambulance drives away.
The cameras also record the deputies discussing the possibility that Engle was responding to a report of a blown transformer and hydroplaned.
Body cameras and dash cameras showed wet and rainy conditions both at the scene and in the surrounding area as the deputies drove to the crash site.
MidAmerican Energy confirmed on Friday that there was an outage on April 11 that began around 6:30 p.m. in the Rapids City/Hampton area, possibly caused by a lightning strike near the intersection of Highway 84 and 17th Street. MidAmerican did not specify which town, but there is a matching intersection in Rapids City.
A crew found a blown “lightning arrester” at a pole in the area, MidAmerican said. Arresters are designed to safely conduct excess energy from lightning or a power surge to the ground. No transformers caught fire or exploded during the incident.