Cop, in near-fatal crash, ready to work

July 11, 2008 3:52:39 PM PDT
A New Jersey cop who nearly died following a motorcycle accident is returning to work. To be sure, he is a changed man. He is now missing a leg, for starters. But he says what he lost pales in comparison to what he gained.

"I remember hitting the truck," Bergen County police sergeant Bill Koretsky said.

Koretsky remembers the whole miserable day of February 7. He says it comes back to him as he goes about his day. As he walks to the store, he sees his police motorcycle on the ground. While sitting in his living room, he can picture the winding road where it happened. And as he talks to visitors, he has visions of the crash debris on the ground next to him.

"A very good friend of mine, a lieutenant who I work with who had driven up to the scene...he wouldn't look at me," he said. "And I knew he wouldn't look at me because I must have looked that bad."

The pain was excruciating and even he didn't think he was going to live. When he finally got to the hospital, he asked the doctors if he was going to die.

"They said, 'Bill, we were worried that you were going to bleed out, but there's a line of cops downstairs in the emergency room waiting to give you blood,'" he said. "And these were cops that I had never seen, or saw or heard from again."

When the accident happened, Koretsky was thrown far from the site, and it took awhile for authorities to find him. While he was lying on the ground, he never lost consciousness. And he says for awhile, he wasn't sure if he was alive or dead.

He defied the odds, and now, he's made it all the way back to work.

He could take a generous disability pension that the department offered. But instead, five months after losing his leg, Koretsky was cleared by his doctor to begin light duty at his old job. He says he can't wait.

"I'm still young," he said. "I'm 46 years old I have a daughter that I want to put through college. I'm just not ready to sit back and collect the pension. I'd like to keep going."


STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Jim Dolan