Vail firefighter returns to work 9 months after being struck by car on I-70


VAIL, Colo. — A Vail firefighter has returned to work nine months after he was struck by a car on Interstate 70.

On March 1, Lt. Scott Bridges was on his way to work when he passed a crash on the interstate.

“I could hear somebody screaming at the top of their lungs, so I made the decision to pull past the accident, off the side of the road, walk back to see if I could help,” Bridges said. “Next thing I know is I woke up in an emergency room in Vail.”

A car had struck Bridges, breaking his legs and fracturing facial bones. He also had a brain bleed and a concussion.

“It’s a long road — nine months of recovery — but got to keep your eye on the prize and get back to having a normal, healthy life,” he said.

Tuesday was Bridge’s first day back at work since the crash. He has been a firefighter for about 20 years.

“You get to experience different challenges, different opportunities every day,” he said.

He said the I-70 crash was different from others he has responded to during his career.

“Doing this job for a long time, there’s very few accidents — there are few calls you go on — where someone is screaming to that level,” he said.

Bridges hopes his story will make people pay more attention while driving.

“We’re all in such a hurry that we want to just get somewhere. But there are a lot of people working the sides of the road,” he said.

Bridges said he is grateful for the support he received from his family, fellow firefighters and the entire community.

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