Crash injuries lead former soldier to new career

Posted: Updated:
Pictured: Alan Engdale and K-9 "Kid" Pictured: Alan Engdale and K-9 "Kid"

MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WAND) – A former soldier overcame a serious injury and years of pain as he found a new start in life.

Alan Engdale was stationed in Germany in the 1980s. After 5 a.m. on Nov. 19, 1988, he says he had finished a run and was walking back to base when a drunk German soldier drove into him. The injury nearly claimed his life, as doctors had to bring him back from death three times.

Engdale spent two full years in hospital care after the injury and still deals with pain every day.

“The back of my brain on the left side is severely bruised permanently, so the right side of my brain takes up the loss,” Engdale said. “I was paralyzed on the right side of my body for a while and still have limited use of my right side. From my head, three-fourths of the bones in my face were shattered.”

Engdale also nearly lost his right leg, but doctors were able to help with screws and brackets. When they removed the brackets at a VA hospital in Danville, Engdale went through the procedure without any anesthesia.

 His life is different in 2017. Engdale works in the Macon County Sheriff’s Department with the K-9 unit. He’s developed a close relationship with “Kid”, his companion at work, and has a tattoo of the dog.

He constantly preaches a message about the dangers of drinking and driving after what happened to him. He says people should “just use consideration”, adding he was “lucky” something worse didn’t happen to him. 

The easy to use Wufoo form builder helps you make forms easy, fast, and fun.
Current Conditions
/
  • Current Events

    • Spirit of Giving

      Join WAND, Cromwell Radio, Walmart North and Macon County Toys for Tots in the Spirit of Giving Toy Drive, Friday, December 1st. T

    • Coats for Kids Drive

      DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - You can help keep central Illinois children warm this winter by donating new and gently used coats during WAND-TV's Coats for Kids drive.

    • Agribusiness Today

      Get your agribusiness report here!

    • Web Exclusives

      Here at WAND we strive to bring you the latest coverage on news happening across central Illinois, and this page is a continuation of that effort.
    More