Community welcomes home UHP trooper injured in line of duty

PAROWAN — Two weeks after Utah Highway Patrol Trooper David Schiers was critically injured by a hydroplaning car on the side of Interstate 15, the well-loved civil servant was welcomed home with a parade through Parowan Monday night.

Awaiting his arrival on the side of the I-15 Exit 78 offramp were members of the Parowan Fire Department, Parowan Police Department, Iron County Sheriff’s Office and Utah Highway Patrol. They gathered with family, friends and community members to surround Schiers as he entered town and escort him home.

“We just kind of pulled out and put his (car) in the middle of all of the police vehicles and all of the fire vehicles,” Parowan City Police Officer Stanley Talbot said. “We had three or four in front, four or five behind him, and we just (traveled with) lights and sirens up Main Street you know, letting everybody know that he was home.”

Community members lined the street with “Welcome home” signs, Talbot said, and when the motorcade ended its processional at Schiers’ Parowan home, each officer and fireman there took a moment to welcome their missed colleague.

Judy Schiers, the trooper’s wife, said the whole thing was incredibly heartwarming for both her and her husband.

Judy Schiers said she was in the car with her husband when they rolled into Parowan Monday evening. Although the welcome home efforts were all a surprise to him, she said, those involved in the planning efforts had been in touch with her on and off throughout the afternoon, ensuring the timing would be perfect.

“He had no clue,” she said. “He was very touched, and he got very emotional.”

David Schiers is done with surgeries, Judy Schiers said, but there is still a long road ahead of him and a lot of physical therapy to do.

Talbot said it was amazing to see his colleague looking so good after such a short time.

“I actually helped one of his sons (get him) out of the car and up on the porch,” Talbot said. “For the injuries that he has, he’s doing tremendous I mean, it’s amazing how fast he is recovering.”

Every day on the side of the road, first responders find themselves in dangerous situations they may not come home from, Talbot said, but to be able to bring an officer home after something so terrifying is a powerful and moving experience.

“As far as getting hit from an accident, a traffic stop, whatever it may be,” he said, “we’re always at risk out there. … I know several of the troopers that have lived in this area and have lived in Parowan, and the majority of them have either been in their patrol car and been hit or, you know, something to the effect of being injured while on an accident or a traffic stop.”

Any time a trooper gets injured on the job, UHP Sgt. Ryan Bauer, David Schiers’ colleague, said, it’s a hard hit to everybody on the team, and that person’s presence is missed.

Unfortunately, danger comes with the territory, he said, explaining the most terrifying moments come during bad weather when he has to get out of his patrol car.

“I’ve been hit seriously four times myself,” he said. “It’s scary out there sometimes; absolutely it is.”

Given what he knows of David Schiers and his work ethic, Bauer said, he doesn’t expect it will be long before David Schiers will be pushing himself to come back to work.

While David Schiers is a trooper with UHP, that is not the only first responder role he plays in the community. He is also the volunteer fire chief for the Parowan Fire Department.

These are two of the many hats he wears in the community, Talbot said, explaining that David Schiers is also actively involved with his church community and the Boy Scouts of America.

Because of David Schiers’ active role in the community, his family has been paid back tenfold and then some, Judy Schiers said. Since the accident, she said, the family has been overwhelmed with love and support from all over.

“We are just very grateful for everybody’s support and their prayers,” Judy Schiers said. “We will never be able to repay everybody, but we are so grateful for everyone, for everything they’ve done.”

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