Erica Jones

DC Rookie Firefighter Hit by Fire Truck 3 Months Ago Heads Home

"My advice to anybody who sees Dane down the road is don't bet against him"

The rookie firefighter who was hit and critically injured by a fire truck nearly three months ago headed home on Wednesday. 

Firefighter Dane Smothers Jr. spoke at a news conference at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital. 

"I definitely would like to return to the house. That's my family. My short time at the firehouse, I've grown to love them, and they've grown to love me," he said, wearing his uniform and a neck brace. 

The 28-year-old was preparing hose lines and other equipment at the scene of a fire on F Street NE on Aug. 2 when a ladder truck crashed into him. 

Smothers was critically injured, suffering multiple injuries above the waist.

Smothers had been with the department for just three months. His uncle, who also is a firefighter, had been called to the same fire.

For three months, he has undergone surgeries and intense physical therapy. 

D.C. Fire and EMS Chief Gregory Dean said the department is saving a place for Smothers. 

"Dane's plan and our plan is to return Dane to operations. He's got a lot of work to do. But that's the goal," Dean said. 

Smothers still has months of therapy ahead, and his injuries may make it difficult for him to return to active duty. 

But don't underestimate him, Dr. Jack Sava said. 

"My advice to anybody who sees Dane down the road is don't bet against him," the surgeon said. 

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