Update: Family of Aurora's Chief "Hoping He Pulls Through" from Crash
A community's prayers are with its police chief, as Aurora Police Chief Godfrey Brokenrope is in critical condition following a motorcycle accident on Interstate 80 near Seward Thursday.
Family members say the chief swerved to avoid backed up traffic, and ended up in the median, a story confirmed by the Nebraska State Patrol.
Fortunately, family members said, passers-by with medical training stopped to help.
Son Zac said, "I've been told there was a doctor and two nurses on the scene that contacted the hospitals immediately and got him from the scene extremely quickly."
Brokenrope was airlifted to the hospital following the crash, and underwent surgery on Thursday.
Zac said his dad is in a medically induced coma, and will be for a few days. They report he suffered extensive head trauma.
His children say Godfrey Brokenrope taught them to care about people, and they are now on the receiving end, with messages pouring in to the family.
"It really means a lot to us. We've got a lot of contact from people in the community, people my dad has known, friends and family. We really appreciate the prayers and thoughts as we go forward," Zac said.
Aurora Mayor Marlin Seeman told NTV News that he and the entire community are "very concerned."
"He has been a long-time employee of the city of Aurora. Our concern and anxiety is with him, as it is with all of our officers as they perform," Seeman said.
Brokenrope began his police career in the U.S. Army and joined the Grand Island Police Department in 1989. He moved to Aurora in 2000, and was named chief in 2006.
Brokenrope recently graduated from the FBI National Academy. Only 270 officers from around the world were part of the intense 11-week program that included classroom instruction, physical training and more.
For his final project, he chronicled his own struggles.
"I've had to overcome a lot of obstacles and battles, personally and professionally, but they make me a stronger person," the chief told NTV in March.
He's active in the community, where he has served as a coach. He also enjoys motorcycle riding, and frequently rides to support law enforcement officers.
"He loves riding motorcycles, he's wanted one since he was very young. It's what he loves," Zac said.
Brokenrope and his wife, Deb, live in Aurora with their three children Zac, J.D. and Kylie.
A post on the Aurora Police Department's Facebook page Friday says, "The Aurora Police Department, the mayor of Aurora, and the city of Aurora employees send our thoughts and prayers to Chief Brokenrope and his family. Best wishes on a full and speedy recovery."
He's faced challenges before, but never like this.
Zac said of his dad, "He's always been a fighter, always fought for what he's wanted, overcome a lot of adversity and we're really proud of what he's done and hoping he pulls through again."