Broadside accident officer
still fighting for his life

(ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.) -- An Arlington Heights police officer injured in an Oct. 13 car accident remains in the hospital but is showing signs of recovery, authorities said.

Officer Charles Tiedje's has been moved out of critical care at the Lutheran General Hospital and he is now able to breathe on his own.

Tiedje suffered head and facial injuries, a bruised heart, fractured femur and pelvis, in addition to a staph infection and pneumonia that he contracted as a result of the injuries, according to the Daily Herald. "He's got a few more hurdles to jump that I pray he can jump," his brother, Tim Tiedje told the Daily Herald. "It's just a tough situation. Now he's in a battle royal. He needs prayers right now more than anything."

It's Charles Tiedje's fight, but his wife Lara and Tim Tiedje are making sure that he doesn't go through alone. They've maintained a 24-hour vigil at the officer's hospital room since the accident.

Doctors are still limiting his visitors to family members, but those who wish to send cards or letters should address them to: Chuck Tiedje, Lutheran General Hospital, Room 424, 17775 Dempster St., Park Ridge, IL 60068.

One sign that people are pulling for Tiedje is large turnout at a blood drive held last month in officer's name. The drive netted 212 units of blood, according to Gerry Oher of LifeSource a blood collection company in the Chicago area.

"Fifty to 75 is considered good," Oher told the Herald.

On Oct. 13 while traveling northbound through an intersection on Windsor Drive about 11 a.m., Tiedje's patrol car was broadsided by a hearse heading east on Palatine Road.

His cruiser was hurled into three cars, damaging it so badly that the officer had to be extracted. He was airlifted to the hospital where he underwent hours of surgery on his pelvis and left thigh.

The driver of the hearse, Aleksandr Babayev of Skokie was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a broken ankle.

Charges were not filed against Babayev pending the outcome of a blood test.

"Crime scene investigators and reconstuctionists are still conducting their investigation," Sgt. Bob Murray spokesman for the Arlington Heights police told PoliceOne. Anyone else interested in donating to a fund for the children of Charles Tiedje may do so by sending their money to Bank One, 1 N. Dunton Ave., Arlington Heights, IL 60006, Attn. Ofc. Charles Tiedje Fund. To donate blood, call the nearest LifeSource and request the blood go to code "TJ63."

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