Donations pour in for Polk deputy injured in hit-and-run crash

Posted at 11:19 PM, Dec 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-20 00:25:27-05

Welcomed by applause, Polk County Deputy Adam Pennell is finally upright after a downright tragedy changed his life in late October.

“There was a lot of tough times obviously, but luckily I’ve been surrounded by a great family and a great wife,” said Pennell to reporters Monday.

It happened when Pennell was rendering aid to a women who had just been in a car crash along Highway 60 east.

“I remember a lot of it, I’d rather not go into detail,” said Pennell.

Investigators say moments later a car driven by 71-year-old Charles Lewis, who was later arrested, slammed into them.

The impact killing the women and seriously injuring Pennell. His wife, a deputy herself says the accident came just seven months after the two tied the knot.

“Nothing prepares you for that, let alone in your first year of marriage,” said his wife.

But nothing could have prepared the couple for Monday night either.

Fellow deputies and community members. A local mayor and complete strangers. Dining on Italian at Il Forno and donating thousands towards his eventual recovery.

“They don’t get enough thank yous, they don’t get enough response from the public and community so its nice to be here and support them,” said community member Pat Welenc.

Whether they were eating in or taking out, the doors became a conveyor belt of giving.

“Its just been one after another, they come in and eat, and go on and somebody else comes in, its amazing,” said Jean Moran.

The amazing gestures also helping Pennell to find it in his heart to forgive the man who almost took his life.

“It’s painful and it can be hard but the support from the community and my family has got me through it,” said Pennell.