Residents concerned about fate of injured deputy, wife

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Sheriff Mark Harig said he’s gotten 20 to 30 phone calls a day to his office and cell phone concerning deputy Corey Farris and his wife, who were injured in a motorcycle accident in Wall, S.D. last Thursday.

&uot;As an employer I am restricted legally with what I can say,&uot; Harig said, citing federal laws that prevent disclosure of medical information of employees. &uot;But as his friend, I can say from what I’ve seen, it’s really encouraging.&uot;

Both Harig and Farris were in Sturgis, S.D. last week, and Harig has visited and spoken to Farris and his wife, Crystal, he said.

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Many of the calls he has received have been people who have prayed for the Farrises, or want to help them. He said since many of their family members are at the Rapid City hospital where the couple is being cared for, many calls have gone to his office.

&uot;There are a lot of people that know the family and are really concerned,&uot; he said.

Harig said he was frustrated with the fact that he couldn’t give out more information, and with the rumors about the accident. He said some rumors have included paralysis and fatal injury, among other horrible scenarios. &uot;Some of them are so off-base it’s unreal,&uot; he said.

Harig said the couple is recovering. &uot;They are doing well, considering what could have happened.&uot;

According to the Pennington County, S.D. sheriff’s department, Crystal and Corey Farris were driving down a street in Wall on Aug. 8. A 65-year-old man driving a pick-up truck stopped at a stop sign but failed to yield and broadsided the couple’s motorcycle. The pair sustained multiple injuries. Corey was transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital.

About eight people witnessed the accident and said that the accident was the fault of the truck driver. He was cited with a traffic violation. Alcohol was not a factor.

A family member confirmed that there was no paralysis, and that the couple is improving and doing well, but said family members who could provide specifics aren’t available. Many are in Rapid City.

(Contact Tim Sturrock or or 379-3438.)