Sheriff's Deputy Recovers After Losing Legs in Crash

July 19, 2011 Updated Jul 19, 2011 at 11:22 PM EDT

By John Borsa

July 19, 2011 Updated Jul 19, 2011 at 11:22 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - There was no time to think. Only time to act.

"We did what we had to do to get our brother home," said Niagara County Sheriff's Deputy Shawn Grapes. "We did it."

Grapes and fellow deputy Jonathan Andres came to the aid of their colleague early Monday morning.

Deputy Allen Gerhardt, 36, lost control of his patrol car and crashed on Lake Road in Ransomville. When he was discovered, a guardrail had pierced through the vehicle and sliced through both of his legs.

"He was hurt, he was unconscious," Grapes said as he described how he and Andres stopped the massive blood loss and saved Gerhardt's life.

"Once we got him out of the car," Grapes said, "I ran back to my car to get my tourniquet out. I ran back to help Allen and between Jon and I we stopped the bleeding."

"Al regained consciousness with the tourniquets on and then we just waited and prayed," Andres said.

Gerhardt served in Iraq. His wife credits Andres and Grapes with saving her husband's life.

"They're really his angels and we can't thank them enough," Tina Gerhardt said.

Gerhardt was responding to a call for back-up after deputies says suspected drunk driver Todd Hauser of Ransomville crashed his car on Youngstown-Lockport Road in Porter early Monday morning.

Gerhardt never made it to the scene after losing control of his patrol car on nearby Lake Road.

"We're not quite sure why he left the roadway. That's still under investigation. There's a possibility there was a car that he went around. He did have his emergency lights on. But we're not quite sure why he left the road," said Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour.