Arizona deputy shows improvement after suffering serious injuries in fall off bridge

Oct 10, 2023, 9:00 AM | Updated: Nov 27, 2023, 10:06 am

Photo via GoFundMe shows Cochise County Deputy Christopher Oletski, was injured Sept. 28, 2023, dur...

Cochise County Deputy Christopher Oletski was injured Sept. 28, 2023, during the pursuit of a human smuggling suspect near Bisbee, Arizona. (Photo via GoFundMe)

(Photo via GoFundMe)

PHOENIX — The Arizona deputy who was seriously injured when he fell off a bridge last month is making significant improvements, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said Monday.

“They’re calling him ‘the miracle,'” Dannels told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Gaydos and Chad Show.

Deputy Christopher Oletski, 43, was hurt Sept. 28 during the pursuit of a human smuggling suspect as part of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Interdiction Team.

How was Cochise County deputy injured?

He fell about 15 feet onto his back, breaking multiple bones, while pulling up a spike strip he’d deployed to deflate the suspect’s tires on a State Route 80 bridge near the SR 90 junction, about 8 miles northwest of Bisbee.

The suspect, 47-year-old Amber Bernadette Fuaga of Maricopa, was arrested and booked into jail on counts of human smuggling and driving under the influence, with additional charges pending.

In the days after the incident, Dannels said complications had arisen and Oletski faced “significant challenges” to his recovery.

Sheriff Dannels sees improvement during hospital visit

Oletski’s situation had clearly improved when Dannels visited him in a Tucson hospital Friday.

“He’s coming back and showing improvement, speaking and things like that, that we and doctors obviously want to hear and see,” the sheriff said.

Oletiski is a three-year veteran of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office who made his home in Sierra Vista, about 80 miles southeast of Tucson, after retiring from the Marines.

A GoFundMe campaign was established to help with the cost of medical care and family travel expenses.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Several juveniles were arrested after an alleged riot broke out at a behavioral center. (Facebook F...

Several minors arrested after alleged fight breaks out at Phoenix behavior center

A number of minors were arrested Saturday after a large fight allegedly broke out at a behavior center in Phoenix, authorities confirmed.

2 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: Initial reaction to Donald Trump rally shooting #news

Larry Gaydos and Joe Huizenga react to the Donald Trump rally shooting in a KTAR News special programming and question the type of security that could allow such an event to unfold.

4 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surrounded by U.S. Secret Servic...

Arizona politicians react to shooting at Trump rally in Pennsylvania

Arizona politicians quickly weighed in after the shooting at Donald Trump's rally on Saturday in Pennsylvania, which is being investigated as an assassination attempt.

6 hours ago

The Arizona Corporation Commission have been working to make sure that utilities have enough capaci...

Bailey Leasure

Arizona Corporation Commission working to ensure utilities hold up during heat wave

The Arizona Corporation Commission have been working to make sure that utilities have enough capacity to meet demand during excessive heat.

10 hours ago

FILE - Members of the Henderson Fire Department load Deb Billet, 66, into an ambulance before trans...

Associated Press

Things to know about heat deaths as a dangerously hot summer shapes up in the western US

A dangerously hot summer is shaping up in the U.S. West, with heat suspected in dozens of recent deaths.

12 hours ago

(Mesa Police Department)...

Traffic fatalities in Arizona decreased slightly in 2023

The number of traffic fatalities in Arizona decreased by about 1% in 2023 compared to 2022, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Arizona deputy shows improvement after suffering serious injuries in fall off bridge