Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Alex Cabrero reporting The deputy hit by an 18-wheeler last night is doing better today, but he's still in a lot of pain.
Deputy Rick Dickinson was on the side of I-15 trying to slow traffic because of another accident, when a big-rig hit his patrol car and pushed it onto him.
Deputies say Dickinson is a man everybody loves. He's been with the Iron County Sheriff's Office for more than 20 years. Dickinson has worked corrections and patrol. He's also spent time in the military. When he was injured last night, a lot of friends and colleagues were worried about him.
Speak to anyone at the Iron County Sheriff's Office about Rick Dickinson, and it all sounds the same.
Sgt. Jody Edwards says, "Rick is awesome."
David Mitchell says, "Rick is a good guy. He's a good worker."
"He's an awesome worker," Sgt. Edwards agrees.
Sheriff Mark Gowan says, "[He's] definitely a guy to look up to and follow his lead."
It seems anyone who's ever had anything to do with the sheriff's office knows Dickinson.
Sgt. Edwards says, "We've had deputies come in new, right out of the academy. He's taken them under his wing and taught them the ropes."
It's that kind of love and respect that filled the hospital last night.
"I think the doctors were getting a little annoyed at us because we were clogging up the hallway," Edwards told us.
Dickinson was at the hospital because a truck driven by James Carrell, from Illinois, smashed into Dickinson's patrol car, then Dickinson. He was working traffic for a fatal crash on I-15 near Parowan when he was hit.
As badly as his arm was injured, though, deputies who visited him in the hospital knew he was going to make it.
Sheriff Gowan says, "I knew he was OK when he was being himself, cracking jokes on the gurney last night."
But no matter how nice a guy Deputy Dickinson is, all of the niceness in the world can't stop an 18-wheeler or another vehicle from running into you. That's why deputies say it's up to drivers to slow down and pay attention.
"Incidents like this are just a wake-up call that this is a very dangerous job," Edwards says.
A dangerous job that Dickinson probably can't wait to get back to.
"We'll miss him around here," Sheriff Gowan says, "and we'll all look forward to him coming back."
Dickinson is home recovering from his injuries. It could be a couple of months before he's back to work.
The driver of the truck that hit him is in jail facing several charges, including trying to drive away after the crash.