MDPD major who lost legs in I-75 crash returns to work

DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - A Miami-Dade Police major returned to work, Monday, months after he nearly lost his life in a crash on Interstate 75.

7News cameras captured Miami-Dade Police Maj. Ricky Carter as he used his arms to get out of the passenger side of a car and sit on his wheelchair outside the department’s headquarters in Doral, Monday.

Despite losing both his legs, Carter remained in good spirits as he embraced his co-workers. “Good to see you, man,” said one colleague.

For the law enforcer, it was a moment he had dreamed of for months. “It is exhilarating to be back,” said Carter. “I’m so happy to be back, to get back to work, to see my friends and co-workers.”

Carter was riding his personal Suzuki motorcycle, on May 7, southbound on I-75, in Miami Lakes, when he slid off the roadway and crashed into a guardrail near the Northwest 138th Street exit.

Paramedics airlifted the officer to Ryder Trauma Center where doctors were forced to amputate both of his legs.

“You look at life differently. You tend to embrace life, respect it, and live every day as it is given to you,” said one of Carter’s co-workers.

When asked whether he thinks Carter is a real fighter, the co-worker replied, “Stronger than a fighter. He’s strong.”

Carter fought every day of his monthslong recovery to be able to resume his duties.

“Ricky is a real person. That’s why everybody sees him as an inspiration,” said another co-worker. “He’s always been in great physical shape. With him, it’s heart.”

“My man. I’ll see you up there, brother,” said Carter as he hugged this co-worker.

Carter shared cellphone video showing him doing pull-ups while sitting in his wheelchair, lifting the wheelchair with each pull-up.

Carter has been with the department for more than two decades. This is his home, and now he’s back home.

“This is totally a miracle,” he said. “By all accounts, I should have died that morning on the highway, but fortunately, I’m here. The peers have helped. The community’s support has helped, and now I’m back.”

Carter’s second day back at work was also special. He was welcomed back at a promotion ceremony at the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue training facility in Doral, where he was greeted with applause and the chance to pin a new badge on one of the officers.

Police director Juan Perez called Carter an inspiration for the entire force. However, Carter said he feels differently.

“Honestly, I don’t see myself as an inspiration, I just want to come to work and do my job and serve the community,” Carter said. “If I can inspire others by the story that happened to me and my injuries and how I was able to come back, that’s awesome — that’s great. My biggest concern is that law enforcement, moving forward, has a good foot to stand on, and we can do some amazing things.”

A total of 35 officers of all ranks were promoted.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover Carter’s medical expenses, including prosthetic legs. If you would like to help, click here.

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