Firefighter impaled by stick in freak off-roading accident

Posted at 12:41 AM, May 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-28 00:41:06-04

FAIRVIEW, TN (WZTV/CNN) – A Tennessee firefighter is recovering after multiple surgeries, including one where doctors removed part of his small intestine, after he was stabbed with a stick while off-roading.

For nine years, Fairview, TN, firefighter Chad Harrah has been running into dangerous situations to help complete strangers, so the last place he expected to get badly hurt is off-roading with his girlfriend.

"Not doing anything stupid – just cruising, enjoying the night. Next thing, I know I guess I hit a stick, and it jumped up through the floorboard and hit me in the stomach,” Chad Harrah said.

A 3-inch thick stick shot through the bottom of his off-roading vehicle, an RZR side-by-side, and stabbed the man, damaging his small intestine.

Chad Harrah was hospital-bound for almost two weeks, and seven inches of his small intestine were removed. He’s had two surgeries already and might need one more.

"I can't really do much physically right now because they cut me open pretty good on my stomach,” Chad Harrah said. "It's different being on the other side, you know. A lot of people took good care of me."

The firefighter’s mother says she’s grateful her son is healing quickly.

"You get through each day. We're still kind of getting through each day,” Sue Harrah said. "I'm a strong believer in God and prayers, and I leave it all to him, so he's come a long way with us."

Chad Harrah says it will be about six to eight weeks before he can go back to work.

"Being a firefighter and stuff, I'm usually the one helping someone that's hurting, so being on the other side, it opens your eyes for sure,” he said.

Copyright 2018 WZTV, Harrah Family via CNN. All rights reserved.