CHP officer injured by DUI driver returns to work, talks about road to recovery

A sunny morning in downtown Vacaville and CHP motorcycle officer Martin Lendway is back at Sport Rehab for a challenging physical therapy session. 

The 45-year-old has had to learn to walk, run and jump again after he had both legs broken in January. 

Lendway was on his motorcycle and had pulled over to help those involved in a fender bender on Highway 4 in Concord. 

As he completed paperwork, a DUI driver slammed into them, leaving Lendway pinned under a truck. 

"Almost immediately when I went to pull my legs from the truck, I could feel things kind of grinding together," he said. 

His initial concern was that he was going to lose both legs. 

"There was a period of time, especially laying on the ground and feeling things move around, is it bad enough that they're going to have to amputate my legs."

Lendway spent nearly a month in the hospital with doctors warning of a long and painful recovery. 

His wife and two teenaged sons and his CHP family were by his side offering support and encouragement. 

The road back has been daunting. 

Lendway's put in hours working to improve his balance, strength and mobility.

It's been a wrenching loop of despair, hope and slow improvement. 

"There were ups and downs emotionally throughout my recovery," he said. "There were days when I was feeling really positive and other days when I was really, really down in the dumps." 

The last 11 months have been difficult for Lendway, but he says throughout his physical rehabilitation he never had any doubts about returning to his career or his bike.

"I really enjoy serving the people of California," said Lendway. "I enjoy helping people." 

Last month, he did something that he vowed to do after crash, he put on his uniform and rejoined the state highway patrol's motorcycle unit. 

When asked how it felt to be back on the bike, Lendway responded with a big smile "It was a good day. The first day back on the bike was a really good day."

While some might retire or take a desk job after a life-changing crisis, not this 9 year CHP veteran. 

He says he's right where he belongs. 

"It's hard to be away from here. When you really enjoy what you do, which I do, I really enjoy being a highway patrolman," Lendway said. 

He added, "It's good to be back."