BOYNTON BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A Boynton Beach police officer, seriously injured in a crash on Southern Boulevard, is speaking publicly about what he remembers and about his tough recovery ahead. He was hit from behind on his way home from work after his shift early Friday morning.
From his hospital bed, Officer Richard Webster thinks about what could have been. "My family could have been planning a funeral instead of planning my recovery," he said as he begins his rehabilitation at Delray Medical Center. He suffered several broken bones, cuts and bruises in the incident.
So far, Webster is surprising his family and friends about how quickly he is bouncing back. His small Subaru SUV was a mangled mess in the median of Southern Boulevard just west of Haverhill Road. Officer Webster was driving home to Royal Palm Beach from his shift. "I saw the car coming up behind me at a high rate of speed so I just braced for impact," said Webster. "There was nothing I could do."
Investigators with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office say the driver of the other car, Jakub Gryczan, 31, rear-ended Webster's vehicle, which was slammed into a line of palm trees. "There was a tree literally in the middle of my car. When I woke up, I was literally wearing my car," Webster said.
"You look at the phone at 3:30 in the morning, and it's not his number, and it's just devastating," said Webster's fiancee, Kristina Nickle, who has been at his side ever since. "It will be hard, but we'll get through this," she said.
Support from the community and other members of law enforcement has been pouring in. "A lot of people have told me this, and I definitely believe I had a guardian angel during that," said Webster.
Gryczan suffered minor injuries in the crash. Investigators say he may have been impaired by either alcohol or drugs at the time. He is not facing any charges at this time. It is unclear if that could change in the coming days.