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Indiana State Trooper returns to work four years after he was hurt on the job

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indiana State Trooper is back on the job four years after he was badly injured when a semi sideswiped his squad car.

He’s been training for a few weeks, but prior to that his last day on the road was March 6, 2013.

It was a snowy day with many crashes. Two other troopers were hit that day.

Master Trooper Snyder was working on I-65 in Johnson County and had part of the interstate shut down because of several crashes.

He was outside of his squad car when he noticed a semi moving lanes toward him, so he jumped in the front door of his car, and that’s when the semi sideswiped his squad car.

His hand was pinned in the door and he was crushed against the the median barrier.

He says his back instantly hurt and he realized it would be a long road to recovery when he tarted seeing doctors for the pain and they couldn’t figure out what was causing it. He received several injections and pain medications and had a pain stimulator in his back for nine months. But he still had pain.

“Doctors really gave up on me. They looked at me in the eyes and said, ‘You know you’re going to have to medically retire and there’s nothing we can do for you.’”

He told the doctors he could not live with the pain so he continued to network and look for a doctor to help.

“It was awful. The problems that we had to go through, me, my family, not knowing the future, not knowing if you’re ever going to get better and it was a rough time in my life. It was a rough four years, it really was,” Snyder said.

But finally, he found a doctor who knew what he needed. About six months ago, he had surgery to remove a disc in his back, and he says he’s never felt better.

“I ache, but I can deal with aching,” he said.

He now has a plate where the disc in his back was as well as two rods and six screws in his body. And a few weeks ago, he returned to work.

“I’ve always wanted to be an Indiana State Trooper. This is my dream,” he said.

He said his wife and daughter are afraid for him because they don’t want it to happen again, but they are also very proud of him.

“That was the biggest thing you know, everyone says they’re proud of me for coming back, and they’re like we’re proud of you for going everything that you went through, and it was a long, awful road, and they lived it with me and you know, I couldn’t have done it without them. There were times when I was in so much pain that it was hard to get up and down and they were there to help me through all the surgeries that I’ve had and to motivate me and I couldn’t have done it without them,” he said.

The driver of the semi who hit his squad car pulled over for about five minutes, but then continued driving. Something Snyder thinks about often.

“How do you not have the common decency to come back and make sure someone’s okay?” Snyder said.

But he says he knows there are more good people than bad, and that is why is he is so excited to be back on the job.

“This is all I’ve ever known to be an Indiana State Trooper.”

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