Deputy Recovering After Crash

July 19, 2011 Updated Jul 19, 2011 at 7:26 AM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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July 19, 2011 Updated Jul 19, 2011 at 7:26 AM EDT


Porter, N.Y. (WKBW)- Niagara County Sheriff's Deputy Allen Gerhardt is at Erie County Medical Center in a coma after crashing his patrol car while responding to a crime in progress.

Gerhardt, 36, was responding to a DWI accident when he lost control of his car and was seriously injured in the crash. Gerhart was supposed to be serving as backup in an arrest of a man who fled police. He never made it to the scene.

Deputies later arrested the suspect who is being identified as Todd Hauser. He is being charged with DWI, fleeing the scene of an accident and other traffic violations. He was arraigned in Town of Porter court, Monday.

"I did speak with him and he was conscious and alert. Now, they have him in an induced coma. They have him stabilized and have to do several surgeries in the next couple of days," Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour said.

Deputy Gerhardt joined the County Sheriff's Office in 2008. He is also a pilot with the Army National Guard and an Iraq war veteran. Gerhardt is getting support from the community and is being called a hero as he recovers in the hospital. Details of his injury are not being released.