Road to recovery nearly complete for Mahoning County Sheriff’s detective injured in crash

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After nearly 27 years on the job, Bob Smith's life changed in an instant

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBNF) – A long-time Mahoning County Sheriff’s detective says despite being involved in a terrible car crash, he intends to walk back into work before the end of the year.

After nearly 27 years on the job, Bob Smith’s life changed in an instant. He was on the job June 29 when another car hit his head-on along Oak Street on Youngstown’s east side.

Youngstown crash involving Mahoning County Sheriff's detective.
WKBN

“Before I even knew what happened, I just saw a car right in front of me, and I didn’t have time to react,” Smith said.

The crash left Smith with a broken sternum, but the worst injury was to his right foot. The heel was shattered and the wound wouldn’t heal. He has spent the last four months in and out of hospitals.

Earlier this month, doctors determined the damage was simply too great and amputated his leg below the knee. The recovery has been slow and painful.

“I was prepared for it, but I didn’t realize how severe it’d be because everybody is a little different,” Smith said.

Since then, his fellow deputies have put together a fundraising campaign to help offset Smith’s expenses.

“The entire community, childhood friends, business people have been reaching out, and it’s been overwhelming,” said Deputy Joe Iberis.

These days, with help from his wife Michelle, Smith’s life revolves around frequent doctor visits, sometimes two to three times each week. Recently, a friend told him about a foundation based in Florida called “50 Legs,” which helps amputees obtain prosthetic limbs. Smith says watching the videos gives him inspiration.

“To me, you gotta find a purpose for having it, to help somebody else,” Smith said.

“He’s strong-willed. He’s driven and he’s determined. He is one person that can handle it and come back from it,” said Michelle Smith.

Smith is determined to be back at work by the end of the year.

A Booze-Barrow Raffle fundraiser is planned for Smith by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 141. A
wheelbarrow with over $1,000 worth of premium liquor will raffled off.

The drawing will be held the night before Thanksgiving on Nov. 25 and will be broadcast live on the FOP Lodge 141’s Facebook page.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through through VENMO – search “Joe Iberis” – leave your contact number in the comments so your ticket numbers can be sent to you.

Checks can also be mailed to FOP Lodge 141, 404 Fairview Avenue, Canfield, Ohio 44406. Please put cell number on the check so organizers can text back their ticket numbers for the raffle.

If you have questions or need tickets call Donnie Belosic (330) 233-0189 or T.J. Assion at (330) 502-1967.

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