Waseca County Deputy Josh Langr was responding to a crash incident concerning a truck colliding with a power line pole that ejected a teen passenger.
“I found the poor girl right away, with all the people we had, I started working on her trying to save her,” Langr recalls.
Langr said he radioed the chopper about not having to go to the airport because they can land right next to where he was. He then called the State Patrol to start an accident investigation.
“The last thing I remember I was on the concrete, obviously I got close enough to a 14 KV line, I arced it, Langr said.
Langr stated he tripped the circuit, and it knocked him off of his feet. He went into a seizure and convulsion that took three to five of his friends to hold him down before the medic in the ambulance hit him with ketamine.
The chopper that Langr called for the crash victim also ended up having to lift him to Hennepin County Medical Center’s Burn Center. Langr ended up waking up in the hospital three hours later. The voltage entered through his head and caused fourth-degree burns that go as deep as his skull.
“I wear a hat when I’m working, and that was melted, the cotton was melted to my head, my hair was melted to my head,” he said.
His feet are also bandaged with burns deep beneath the skin and into the muscle.
“I should’ve been toast multiple times over,” he reflects.
“You’re obviously here for a reason? That’s the only way to say it. It’s the only way to explain it, to be told not yet, God said not yet, keep going,” Langr said.
Remarkably his doctors have found no neurological or organ problems.
“The path of electricity traveled around the brain and not into the cardiac muscle and stayed superficial enough in the body. So as not to injure any of his internal organs. So, he’s actually quite lucky, it’s miraculous,” said Dr. Jon Gayken, a surgeon in the HCMC Burn Center.
Langr says it is a miracle, one his family and law enforcement community is praising.
“For everybody who works as a first responder, cops, firemen, EMT’s, paramedics they all know how many people they’ve saved because they remember the ones that actually make it and I’ve saved one person so far. I get to do more, and I get another chance, I get to increase my number. God said one’s not enough, keep going,” Langr said.
Langr has had some surgeries on his feet and head. More will come next week.
Doctors say he’ll be in the hospital a few more weeks, but it could take a full year for his head to heal.
The 15-year-old girl did not survive that crash. Langr says despite his recovery, that has been very difficult to deal with.