MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A West Virginia State Police trooper described as “a dedicated public servant” who “puts everybody else first” continues to recover after an incident on I-81 in Berkeley County.
On July 16, an oversize tractor trailer snagged a Segra telephone cable spanning across I-81. This caused the cable to fall across all north and southbound lanes of the highway near mile marker 13.5.
Cpl. Josh Ware responded to the call. Once on scene at 1:39 pm, Ware began to clear debris as traffic continued to pass over the cable.
After clearing the cable from one side of the highway, he jumped over the Jersey wall in the median to begin clearing the other side. It was shortly after crossing the wall that the cable became wrapped in the wheels of a tractor trailer, striking Cpl. Ware.
“(The cable) hit him in his right leg and broke his leg,” said Rick Ware, Cpl. Ware’s father. “It got caught around his arm and slammed him to the ground. It dragged him about 15 feet and then the cable broke. All of that is clearly evident on his dash cam video. It completely shredded his whole right arm. He’s got a lot of scrapes, abrasions and skin missing from his head, arms, shoulder, backside and his leg.”
Cpl. Ware was first taken to Berkeley Medical Center, less than a mile from where the incident occurred. From there, he was flown to INOVA Fairfax Hospital in northern Virginia.
In the days following the incident, Rick Ware told the Panhandle News Network his family has been grateful for the outpouring of support on social media and from the community.
“I can’t even begin to tell you what the support has been like. First and foremost, the West Virginia State Police then the Fairfax County Police (Virginia). These guys have been in and out of this room. They’ve taken my wife and daughter to the hotel in back in their cruisers.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up by his brother in-law to help cover medical expenses.
“Josh’s two favorite things to eat have been pancakes and peaches,” a Tuesday update on the page reads. “We are happy that his appetite has returned!”
Cpl. Ware has a wife and five children. His father describes him as caring and selfless law enforcement officer, husband, father and son.
“He is without a doubt somebody who puts everybody else first regardless of what the situation is. I just can’t say enough about that character. Every nurse that comes in his room he’s asking what their name is and where they’re from. Just having a conversation with them as best as he can when he’s not in and out of his anesthesia cycle.”
As of Tuesday, the GoFundMe page had surpassed its goal of raising $15,000.
“We’ve gotten comments, concerns and contributions for his GoFundMe page from as far away as people from New Zealand, it’s just incredible,” said Ware. “He’s going to be forever grateful for that.”