CHIPLEY - A Washington County Sheriff's Office employee is in critical condition after being injured Thursday in what officials are calling a freak accident.
WCSO Fleet Management Supervisor Matt Cox accompanied deputies as they responded to a report of a road obstruction in near the intersection of Brickyard and Rock Hill Church roads.
Upon arriving on scene, deputies discovered the obstruction to be a large tree limb, estimated to weigh up to a few hundred pounds. As Cox and deputies were assessing the situation, the limb, which reportedly was still partially attached to the tree, snapped and moved suddenly, striking Cox in the back of the head.
Cox was transported to a Dothan, Ala. hospital where he remains in ICU with multiple injuries, including bleeding on and around the brain, severe fracture of the spine located in his mid and lower back, a small puncture of his lung, and a fractured hip. Friends report Cox's back and hip will require multiple lengthy surgeries to repair.