FARMINGTON — Jason Sorensen has spent his adult life helping others as a sheriff’s paramedic and most recently as a medical helicopter pilot and paramedic.
Now he needs probably a lifetime’s worth of help himself.
Sorensen was a passenger in a light plane that crashed Thursday in Centerville near the Farmington line. The pilot, 72-year-old Andre Kostrzewa of Salt Lake City, a friend of Sorensen’s, was killed.
Sorensen, 47, and the pilot were trapped in the burning wreckage when two good Samaritans who saw the crash from Legacy Highway pulled them out of the plane.
But Sorensen suffered horrific injuries. According to the Davis County Fraternal Order of Police, he suffered severe burns and multiple fractures in his legs, arms, pelvis and hips.
He has had two surgeries so far, one of which involved the amputation of both legs below the knee, according to the FOP.
The Davis County Sheriff’s Office, where Sorensen was a 20-year veteran paramedic who retired as a lieutenant, issued a press release Saturday lauding Sorensen and his rescuers and highlighting two fundraisers for his family.
Liz Sollis, sheriff’s office spokesperson, said Monday a close friend of Sorensen’s from his years in the agency is serving as spokesman for the family.
The family has requested privacy, she said.
Meanwhile, the crash has had a big impact at the agency.
“The office has been a very somber place the last few days and many of our staff who are closest to Jason, and who responded to the call, are still struggling and/or off work,” Sollis said later by email.
Sorensen is in the University of Utah Burn Center’s intensive care unit.
“Jason has many surgeries ahead and, although he is not close to being out of the woods yet — each minute/hour is full of ups and down — he is in good hands,” the sheriff’s office release said.
“Jason has spent his life and career in service of others saving countless lives as an officer and paramedic,” the FOP said in its fundraiser announcement.
Sorensen recently began flying Intermountain Healthcare LifeFlight helicopters, according to the FOP.
“Those who know Jason know him as a selfless, genuine, kind and never-say-no kind of man,” the statement said. “His family, Amy and their two kids and extended family, need our love, support and all the positive thoughts we can give.”
Tax-deductible donations can be made at the Davis County Fraternal Order of Police website, daviscountyfop.org.
An America First Credit Union account also has been established for Sorensen, charitable account No. 9116393.
The FOP said Sorensen has insurance but his care is out of network.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating Thursday’s crash. Federal data showed the plane was a homemade kit aircraft, a fixed-wing, single-engine Sonex Light Sport.