Tim Africano is plenty mobile riding his motorcycle as a motor officer for the Orange County Sheriff Department in Rancho Santa Margarita, but immobility is what he needs right now.
Africano was injured Thursday morning on his way to work when his police-issued Honda hit a patch of water on Santiago Canyon Road.
"He's looking a lot better," Lt. Brian Schmutz said over the weekend of his deputy. "He could be there in the hospital potentially up to a week but is expected to make a full recovery."
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According to Schmutz, who is the chief of police services in Rancho Santa Margarita, Africano suffered a laceration on his spleen, four broke ribs, bruised lungs and "road rash on both of his arms pretty good."
Basically, the deputy just needs to be still, which is why he remains in Mission Hospital.
No other vehicles were involved in the accident. Under department policy, the crash is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.
"He's a good rider, he's been riding for years," Schmutz said. "The wet pavement caused the bike to hydroplane, and when it suddenly gained traction it caused the bike to lurch and threw Tim from the bike.
"He told me the wobble was so bad he was straining to keep it steady and he couldn't."
Anyone who knows the story of Africano knows of his powerful arms, and if he couldn't old the bike steady, then it simply couldn't be done.
Africano in June when he held a suicidal boy with one arm while dangling from the Banderas Bridge.
Africano was the first responder to the report of a teen who was threatening to jump off the bridge. The boy was on the outside of an 8-foot-high fence on a small ledge; Africano climbed the fence and straddled it, then grabbed the boy and held him with one arm as the boy went limp in an attempt to fall onto the 241 toll road below.
Perched about 40 feet above the highway, Africano held on until two other deputies arrived moments later and assisted pulling the boy over the fence.