A Laurel police officer was injured in a motorcycle wreck while he was off duty in Marion County on Tuesday.
K9 Officer Heath Blancett wrecked just after noon and was airlifted to Forrest General Hospital with a fractured vertebra, according to a Facebook post by his wife Sarah. He had reportedly riding at Red Bluff, near the Foxworth Community, when the crash occurred.
“Luckily he was not riding alone and had friends there to quickly help him,” she wrote. “An ambulance was called and during transport the ambulance crew felt it necessary to request a helicopter.”
Blancett had X-rays and a CT scan, which revealed that his C12 vertebra was fractured and pressing on his spinal cord, his wife reported, adding that he had emergency surgery that evening and it went “very well.” Before going into surgery, he had no feeling in either foot and couldn’t move his left foot.
After the surgery, he was in ICU and was “feeling a tingling sensation in both feet,” his wife posted. “We will not know the full extent of his injuries or his ability to walk for possibly several days.”
A West Jones graduate, Blancett has been with the LPD for eight years and has served as an officer with the Sandersville Police Department.
LPD Chief Tommy Cox described Blancett as “just a good guy” who is a hard-working, dependable officer.
“He would go out of his way to help anybody,” Cox said, recalling a time that Blancett, while working for SPD, stopped a vehicle that three Laurel armed robbery suspects were in on Interstate 59.
“He treats people like they should be treated,” Cox said. “We have high hopes that he will make a full, complete recovery.”
The Jones County Sheriff’s Department was among the agencies and individuals who asked for prayers for their “brother in blue.” Sarah Blancett thanked everyone for the outpouring of support.
“Thank you to everyone for all the prayers, well wishes, good thoughts/vibes, and those who showed up at the ER even if I didn’t get a chance to see you,” she wrote. “Hug your loved ones, because you never know."