AUGUSTA, Fla. - The death of a Richmond County sheriff's deputy might mean another officer will live.
Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength said Thursday night that the kidney of Deputy Eric Sikes, who died Wednesday, will be donated to fellow deputy David James.
"It's a good possibility that David will go into surgery sometime tonight," Sheriff Strength said Thursday.
Medical College of Georgia Hospital technicians have tested the compatibility and "it was confirmed that the kidney was a match," the sheriff said.
Deputy Sikes, 24, a two-year road patrol deputy, died at MCG from
injuries suffered during a car accident Tuesday morning in Hephzibah.
Sheriff's Sgt. Taryl Elim said she was in contact with Deputy James' wife, Kellie , all day Thursday and that the James family is optimistic.
"It's a very bitter sweet situation, but there's nothing we can do for Deputy Sikes at this time," Sgt. Elim said. "Maybe he can live through David."
"Kellie sounded a bit nervous but hopeful. Everything is happening so fast," Sgt. Elim said.
Sheriff Strength said he is saddened by the loss of Deputy Sikes but commended the family.
"It's a terrible tragedy," he said. "It's such a great thing what this family did to help another officer.
"It's something none of us ever want to see -- especially one of our fellow officers killed or injured. Our condolences and prayers go out to the Sikes family."
It's been nearly 17 years since Deputy James was shot five times while attempting to make an arrest.
His left eye and kidneys were damaged . His mother donated a kidney to him, but that kidney has been failing and he has been on dialysis since Christmas. His family has been searching for a donor for months.