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BREAKING NEWS

Patrolman injured

Former W’bago man, now Missouri State Trooper, struck by a speeder he stopped

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Feb 28, 2021

Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Cory Stauffer is shown in uniform and in front of his patrol vehicle, above, with his two children, Caleb, 4, and Aubrey, 7 months.

The day of Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021 is a day which will be forever etched in Cory Stauffer’s mind.

It was on that day, Stauffer, a native of Winnebago, was struck by a motor vehicle while working at his job as a Missouri State Trooper.

“We (State Troopers) all know the potential of something like this happening,” Cory says. “Although some in law enforcement will go their whole career without experiencing any serious incidents, we all know the risks.”

What made Stauffer’s situation even more unique is the driver of the vehicle which struck Stauffer allegedly did so on purpose.

Various media outlets in the ‘Show Me State’ reported a 27 year-old man has been charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action and leaving the scene of an accident.

Stauffer himself would not comment on the incident as it is part of an ongoing investigation.

This was the report as released to the news media:

Trooper Cory Stauffer conducted a traffic stop involving Galen Bradford Sailer, 27, of Orchard Beach, Maine, at an exit in Lebanon around 7:30 a.m. Stauffer told investigators Sailer became agitated. Stauffer says Sailer told him his brother had been killed by an officer in Arizona. Stauffer then said Sailer rolled up his window and began to circle around the parking lot of a restaurant. Stauffer said Sailer then struck him, dragging him, then pinning him against a steel pillar.

Officers later arrested Sailer at a nearby truck stop.

Investigators say Sailor told authorities he was traveling to Arizona for his brother’s funeral. Officers in Arizona shot his brother during a standoff. Investigators say Sailer admitted to striking the officer during an interview. The charging documents say investigators found a video from Sailer’s car and he was heard telling someone he had hit an officer in the Waffle House parking lot.

Cory’s parents, Larry and Sue, still reside in Winnebago.

“Kirstie, Cory’s wife, already had someone posting on her Facebook page about Cory so she called us immediately,” Sue comments. “She did not want us to see something on social media before she could talk to us.”

The accident occurred about 7:20 a.m.

“When Kirstie called she really did not know much of what had happened,” Sue explains. “She was being driven to the hospital in Springfield, which is about an hour from where the accident happened, by a trooper.”

Sue, of course, was very concerned for her son.

“My first thoughts were, can he use his legs?” Sue says. “Kirstie did not know much about what had happened at the time, but she stayed calm even when I was not.”

Sue says a trooper stayed with Kirstie while Corey was being examined and the trooper was able to keep her daughter-in-law up to date with what the doctors were finding.

“We learned he had a fractured pelvis,” Sue comments. “He was released later the same day without the need for surgery.”

Cory was on crutches but he was able to head back to his home, just outside of Lebanon.

“My next thought was what do I do, do I pack and go down there?” Sue says.

Larry and Sue decided to wait for a week but did travel to Missouri to be with their son’s family from Feb. 17-20.

“I spend most of my time in a recliner. The doctors said to find the most comfortable place to rest and the recliner is it,” Cory states.

Cory and Kirstie, who he met when he took the job in Missouri, have two children, Caleb, who will turn four-years old in April, and Aubrey, who is seven months old.

“I am not able to help out much with the kids,” Cory states. “I can give a bottle to Aubrey for a little while, but that is about it.”

Sue says Caleb was doing well when she and Larry were visiting.

“He knows he has to be very careful around his daddy,” Sue shares.

His fellow troopers have also been there to lend their support.

“The evening he came home from the hospital one of Cory’s neighbors was wondering what was going on because suddenly there were all kinds of patrol cars around his place,” Sue comments. “The troopers came to welcome him home and show their support.”

But the dedication to their fellow trooper did not end when Cory returned home.

“Someone stops by or calls every day,” Cory says. “They are checking on me and seeing if I need anything. What I really want is to just be able to get back to work.”

He also knows the extra effort Kirstie is having to put forth.

“She basically went from having to take care of two kids to taking care of three,” Cory notes. “She is doing well and I am trying to stay somewhat independent.”

Cory shares the couple just made a trip back to the hospital for a check up.

“They are still trying to figure out the extent of my injuries and surgery is still not being talked about,” he says. “But they cannot tell me how long I will be out of work.”

Cory, who graduated from Blue Earth Area in 2007, says his time recuperating has allowed him to reconnect with some old friends.

“I have heard from some people back home. I stay in touch with a couple of friends who are still in the area,” Cory comments.

After graduation from BEA, where he was a track star who finished second in the state in the high jump his senior year, Cory went through the law enforcement program at Alexandria Technical & Community College.

“I knew it was going to be tough to find employment in Minnesota and Missouri offered me a job,” Cory explains. “I had to go through six more months of intense training and then I was good to go.”

He says he has been happy with the decision.

“The community of Lebanon is very supportive of law enforcement,” Stauffer says. “It is a good place to be.”

In fact, Cory shares one individual in the town who wants to remain anonymous has set up a fund at a local bank in Lebanon.

“He has set an account up at the Heritage Bank of the Ozarks,” Cory explains. “It was hard for me to agree to it but I was told when people want to help, you let them.”

Now a fund to assist the Stauffer family is also being set up in his hometown of Winnebago.

Donations can be made to First Financial Bank of Winnebago, Cory Stauffer & Family Fund, PO Box 988, Winnebago, MN 56098.

The address for the bank in Lebanon is Heritage Bank of the Ozarks, 1475 S. Jefferson Ave., Lebanon, MO 65536.

“I have heard from a lot of people back home offering their thoughts, prayers and support and I appreciate it very much,” Stauffer says. “This could have been much worse. It has made me realize how important it is to take vacations with the family and spend more time with those we love.”