SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – This summer a Santa Fe County Deputy crashed his patrol car into an elk, but the crash that sent him to the hospital may have actually saved his life.
Deputy Shannon Coles, a 13-year veteran with the department, was traveling along U.S. Highway 84/285 near the the town of Tesuque in June. According to the sheriff’s office, he was responding to a call when video shows his patrol unit strike an elk in the middle of the highway.
“It was pretty scary to see the pictures of the unit,” fellow Deputy Carolina Aguayo said. “Our first reaction was, ‘Is he okay?'”
Deputy Coles walked away with his body bruised and battered and found out the following week that something more dangerous than an elk was lurking inside him.
“Upon his checkup, he found out that he had a mass,” Deputy Aguayo said.
Deputy Coles was diagnosed with cancer.
“He’s been in good spirits,” Deputy Aguayo said. “He let us all know that he’s not going to back down, he’s going to fight.”
Since finding out the news, Aguayo and others have been planning a fundraiser for the deputy who is undergoing chemotherapy.
“We are a big family here,” she said. “This department has been through some hard times lately but we’ll always get though it together.”
The fundraiser is Saturday, September 30, 2017 at the Camel Rock Casino, who donated the space.
The event will include a dinner and dance. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door.To buy tickets or to make a donation, click here.