9-year-old recovering at hospital after being hit by off-duty sheriff’s deputy in Lincoln

The 9-year-old girl is recovering in an Omaha hospital.
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 11:09 AM CDT|Updated: May. 12, 2023 at 2:58 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A 9-year-old girl is in the hospital after being hit by a truck in Lincoln’s Highlands neighborhood while riding her bike Wednesday evening.

According to Lincoln Police Chief Teresa Ewins, around 8 p.m., an off duty Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office employee accidentally hit the child riding her bike near NW 8th Street and W Jennifer Drive.

Chief Ewins said the LSO employee, identified as Chief Deputy Ben Houchin, was driving his personal vehicle at the time of the crash.

According to the LPD crash report, Houchin told investigators he was driving 20 mph on W Jennifer Drive and “looked down to his radio for a split second to change the station”. Houchin said that’s when he collided with a child riding a bicycle. Houchin stated that she “came out of nowhere” and he didn’t see her before the impact.

LPD is conducting the investigation and no citations have been issued at this time. Chief Ewins said neither drugs, nor alcohol is suspected.

“Thus far, we have not been provided with any information to indicate that Chief Deputy Houchin violated any LSO policies during this incident,” Sheriff Terry Wagner said.

10/11 spoke with the child’s mother who said her daughter is in Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha with a brain bleed, skull fracture and concussion. According to the girl’s mom, the 9-year-old is awake and the family is taking her recovery day by day, hour by hour.

The family said they expect to be at the hospital over the weekend while doctor’s manage the child’s pain.