Update: Oklahoma sheriff's deputy Jeremy McCain has died, a week after the accident.
An Oklahoma County sheriff’s office deputy who serves at a local school continues to fight to recover after a freak accident in which a security gate crushed him inside his patrol car.
About 6:50 p.m. Friday, Jeremy McCain, 36, was leaving Oklahoma Christian School in east Edmond when his patrol vehicle struck a partially opened security gate that pierced the car’s windshield and pinned the deputy against the driver’s seat, the sheriff’s office said.
Two off-duty medical professionals and Edmond police immediately rendered aid.
“It's truly a miracle that he's still with us,” Sheriff Tommie Johnson III told reporters Monday.
McCain, an 11-year veteran of the sheriff's office, suffered a broken neck and was rushed to OU Medical Center.
“I want to point out that Jeremy died three times that evening,” Johnson said.
Johnson said “the first time we were able to get him back” was at the scene of the accident.
The second time was in the emergency room when doctors opened McCain’s chest and massaged his heart for 10 minutes, Johnson said.
A third time doctors revived McCain and gave him 60 units of blood, Johnson said.
Johnson said he did not yet know the extent of McCain’s injuries but is hopeful there isn’t significant brain damage.
“This is constantly evolving,” he said.
McCain is described as a single father of a boy with autism. He is a strong and positive community contributor who knows the names of each student at school, and also gives them nicknames.
“This is someone who's invested their life, invested their time in this community, in these kids, in this administration, the teachers and students, and you see it coming around full-fold because they support him just as much,” Johnson said.
In a letter, McCain’s family expressed gratitude to the first responders, the school and Oklahoma residents.
“Many people have reached out to offer help In many ways,” they wrote. “The support from our fellow Oklahomans has shocked us in more ways than one. Oklahoma has always been our home and we now know why Oklahomans are truly incredible.”
The family wrote that a Bible verse, Isaiah 41:10 from the New King James Version, has helped them stay strong:
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
McCain and his family have a long road to recovery, they wrote.
“We are asking that everyone please continue to send prayers for the speedy recovery for Jeremy,” the family wrote.
Johnson said the family doesn’t blame anyone for the accident.
“No one's at fault,” Johnson said. “There's no negligence. It's just an accident that we wish we never had to speak about. But unfortunately we're here.”
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Community rallies around Oklahoma deputy Jeremy McCain after accident