Lucas and Nicole Shoffner have called East Tennessee home for several years. They put down roots while working for the military and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. Although their careers have forced them to be ready for any disaster, they never could have expected what happened on Aug. 1.
According to Nicole, everything started when the miniature motorcycle she was operating lost a chain.
“At that point, I had scooted into the road,” Shoffner explained. “I didn’t know the chain had popped off so he [Lucas] was trying to fix it. We saw the lights coming from the car and he moved me to a point of safety right next to the grass. Next thing I know, his hand was on my back and then we were hit.”
When she woke, Nicole’s worst fear was realized.
“I woke up in the grass. I remember having grass in my mouth and my left shoe was off. After that, I saw Lucas in the road face down. I ran over to him and started doing a sternum rub. He had blood coming out of his nose and his mouth. I was just trying to talk to him, keep him with me.”
Once first responders arrived, Nicole was taken to Fort Sanders for a head CT and x-rays while Lucas was taken to the ICU at UT Medical Center.
Since then, Lucas has struggled to maintain healthy blood pressure and heart rate. He also underwent surgery to remove the right part of his skull. Although he remains somewhat stable, he is still in the fight for his life.
“We’ve kind of taken a step back,” Shoffner told WATE. “His blood pressure’s up, heart rate, he has a 102.7 fever.”
While Lucas continues fighting for his life with his wife by his side, the couple’s family and friends have worked to take care of things at the pair’s home.
“People have mowed our yards, people have offered to clean our house, people have sent food up here, I’d say 40 people a day have come put their hand on his door and prayed.”
Although Nicole says she is extremely grateful for the help and prayers, the only thing she really needs is for her husband to survive.
“It means the world to me but it means nothing if I don’t have him. Nothing. I need him to see the impact he’s made with so many different people.”Nicole Shoffner
WATE also spoke with Shoffner’s attorney Greg Isaacs. He said the family plans to look at every legal option there is. He also credited the wreck to Campbell County Sheriff’s Deputy Raymond Surber. A spokesperson with CCSO previously said Surber was off-duty and in a personal vehicle at the time of the crash.
“It appears the skid marks from this very unfortunate incident where two pedestrians were struck by a pickup truck left skid marks in the range of 20 to 25 feet,” said Isaacs. Again, this is a residential roadway with a 15-mile-per-hour speed limit.”
It is important to note that according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s incident report, there are charges pending for every individual involved in this situation—including Lucas and Nicole Shoffner.
According to Isaacs, those charges are “absurd” and maybe a “clerical error.”
A GoFundMe account has been created in order to raise money for Lucas and Nicole Shoffner. Updates have been posted there as well.