Deputy injured on duty receives support from community

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Following a severe injury after a UTV accident, Austin Kelley, a Washington County deputy, is on the road to recovery.

According to information from a GoFundMe for Austin, on Aug. 21, during a search party at Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge, Austin was in a UTV that fell into an 8-foot ravine.

Jean Kelley, Austin's wife, said he does not remember the accident, but recalls waking up in the emergency room at Nebraska Medical Center.

Austin was treated for a brain bleed, concussion and broken back. Austin will be undergoing post-concussive therapy and physical therapy for his back.

"Neurologically, it's going slow right now," Jean said. "There will be lots of doctor's visits, scans."

Following the accident, Austin's sister, Jordan Alasad, created a GoFundMe donation page on Aug. 30 in order to raise money to assist in medical needs as he recovers while away from work.

"He is the sole provided for his family," Alasad said. "He was stressing about how things are going to be taken care of. Everybody needs help, and this is a situation where you need help even if you don't want it."

As of Wednesday, donors have provided more than $4,200 out of the $7,000 goal.

"It's over-exceeded my expectations," Alasad said. "It's amazing that everybody can come together. I'm excited and happy it's taken off pretty well. It's amazing people donate whether they know him or not."

Jean said she and Austin were pleased with the support of the Sheriff's Office and community.

"We feel very humbled and thankful," she said. "We're grateful to be surrounded by this community."

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