Motorcycle accident life-changing experience for detention deputy

Deputy off-duty when vehicle crossed his path in Leon Valley

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Instead of taking a walk in the park on a sunny day, James Traugott said, before his accident, he would have been cruising on his beloved motorcycle.

The Bexar County detention deputy was off-duty and going to surprise his girlfriend for her birthday when his motorcycle was hit by a vehicle on Bandera Road Jan. 29.

Leon Valley police said the vehicle pulled out in front of him, but the driver stopped.

“I was in a world of hurt. I just didn’t know exactly what happened," Traugott said.

Traugott woke up two days later in a hospital bed with a dislocated hip and a fractured skull that eventually led to partial paralysis on the right side of his face. He said his short-term memory also was affected for a time.

Traugott said at least he was wearing his motorcycle helmet, even though it was unstrapped.

“Upon impact, it saved me, but it ended up coming off during the accident because I was rolling and tumbling around,” Traugott said.

The 25-year-old U.S. Marine reservist said the worst part of his recovery was, “being stuck and confined, like being 100 percent, then 10 percent.”

The former infantryman had just started his law enforcement career working at the Bexar County Jail.

But as soon as his doctor gives him the go-ahead, Traugott said he plans to return to the Sheriff’s Office.

“I feel like I’ve been reborn in a way. I feel like I’ve gotten a second chance,” Traugott said. “It’s going to make me more willing and more motivated to do the things I wanted to do before the accident.”

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