Angela in the News
Deputy struck on roadside in 98 gets $1.25 million
By ANNE E. SCHWARTZ Senior Staff Writer
WAUKESHA On a horrible November night in 1998, Mike Doud's
doctors were talking amputation for the veteran sheriff's
deputy. But nearly four years and four painful surgeries later,
Doud finally has some good news -- a settlement for $1.25
million from the in insurance company of the driver who hit him
as he was making an arrest alongside Interstate 94 on Nov. 24,
Doud was handcuffing a suspect between the man's vehicle and his
squad car that November night when a man driving down I-94
rear-ended the squad, catapulting the deputy into the air and
into a nearby ditch. Alcohol was not a factor, investigators
Those officers who responded first to the scene were sure their
colleague was dead or at least doomed not to survive the night. Later,
doctors told him he'd never go back to work. No one who was there can
forget it. Doud won't either; the date is tattooed on his upper left arm.
It's not that he's ungrateful for the money, it's just not one of the
really important things anymore.
"I don't worry about anything anymore," Doud told the Freeman. "I don't
worry about money, and not because of the settlement.
"I used to stress about everything. But that night I was lying in a
hospital bed and they're talking amputation of my leg and I don't know if
I'm going to return to work or if anything will ever be normal. Now we
can carry through on some dreams," Doud said as he held his wife
Heather's hand, his voice still catching as he told the story four years
But the Douds are not new millionaires. There are bills to be paid, lots
of them: $427,000 to the lawyers, $125,000 to the county's workers'
compensation insurance carrier for reimbursement of Doud's medical
expenses, and the looming dark cloud of future medical expenses, which,
Doud said, are inevitable.
"I'm in pain all the time," he said. "It never goes away."
The same resolve Doud used to return to the road a year after the
incident is the same one that keeps him on the job today. He's a cop's
cop, not the kind of guy who retires at 42 after 11 years doing a job he
loves. And he works with the other woman in his life, Molly, his black
Labrador retriever and one of the county's top drug-sniffing dogs. He
can't imagine it any other way.
"What is unique about this case is Mike," his attorney, M. Angela Dentice,
said. "He was given the chance to take early retirement due to his
extensive injury and he has chosen to stay and subject himself to further
injury because of his devotion to the community."
(Anne E. Schwartz can be reached at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org )